It makes sense why Yankees GM Brian Cashman is calling up the Mets to wonder if they'd be willing to trade Steven Matz, as The Post's Ken Davidoff and Mike Puma reported on Monday. Luis Severino is out for the season and James Paxton will be out for the first couple of months at least, shaking up what was supposed to be a pretty deep rotation for the Bombers.
But is it smart to start talking trades this early in the season?
Cashman could just be making preliminary calls to see who teams might be willing to part with, and SNY's Andy Martino is hearing from multiple sources that there isn't a reason to believe this will progress at all. But, in the case that the Yankees are trying to add another starter before Opening Day, they should definitely pump the brakes.
The first reason is the prospect of Miguel Andujar being in a trade package, which the Mets were reportedly interested in. Yes, Andujar was being shopped this offseason, but there was a reason Cashman didn't pull the trigger on any proposed offers: it wasn't the right compensation.
At 25 years old, Andujar still has room to grow after only putting together one full season -- a season that saw him become the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year runner-up. And though he doesn't have a permanent role with the team right now, injuries to players like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge already in spring training gives Cashman another reason to want him on the roster.
There is also the fact that Severino is the only Yankee starter that is lost for the season. The rotation will be replenished once June rolls around, which is the time Paxton should be back as well as Domingo German following his suspension. German held the rotation together like glue last season when starters were going down left and right, posting a 4.03 ERA with an 18-4 record over 143 innings.
When that happens, the rotation is as follows: Gerrit Cole, Paxton, Tanaka, J.A. Happ, German. Of course, someone like Jordan Montgomery could be pitching well enough to keep that back-end slot. But that is exactly what the Yankees can do: trust their depth just as they did with their lineup last season when players kept suffering injuries.
The Yankees obviously have championship aspirations this season, and that could be why Cashman is potentially looking for the quick fix right now. However, he even said a pitching market doesn't start to form until around June. That is when he should get more aggressive in adding another rotation arm if he believes he needs to do it before the MLB trade deadline.
With their stacked lineup, the Yankees can make it through the first two months of the season with this current rotation and playing winning baseball. There may be a few question marks, but it is worth playing that out to see what the correct answers to them will be.