Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Yankees have been engaged for weeks in the starting pitching market, and would still prefer to land a Zack Wheeler, Trevor Bauer, or one of the other available arms who could help with the rotation. This remains the surest way to bolster their championship chances.
But given the state of the market, the team has been forced to consider other options. According to multiple general managers in search of pitching, the asking prices for Wheeler, Stroman and the like remain very high, and teams are far apart on value.
That's why, according to sources, the Red Sox and A's settled for less exciting acquisitions in Andrew Cashner and Homer Bailey. Those teams essentially looked at the asks for higher-end help and said, "forget it, we'll go with depth."
It is looking increasingly likely that Yankees GM Brian Cashman will wait until just before the July 31 deadline to see if any prices come down. This one might come down to the wire. With a comfortable lead in the American League East, Cashman can afford to do that.
But if prices don't drop, Cashman almost certainly will not move a controllable piece like Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia or Domingo Geman for a rental, or even a player with less than two years remaining before free agency (if the Mets want to talk about Noah Syndergaard and his 2.5 years, that could be a different story).
The Yanks do see an alternative to adding a starter at a price they consider unreasonable: Pair Chad Green as an opener with Luis Severino during the playoffs.
This is, of course, dependent on Severino returning from the rotator cuff and lat injuries that have cost him the entire season to date. On Monday, he took a significant step forward, playing catch on flat ground with Dellin Betances, who is also trying to begin his season.
The Yankees believe that they can build Severino up to 75 pitches or so -- and that this would leave him in perfect position to follow an opener. The team has conditioned Green to fill that role, with positive results.
Make no mistake, this would not be as good as adding Wheeler. But it could work, if need be.