Zero of 5
Mark Lennihan/Related Press
The New York Yankees aren’t any exception. Like each different normal supervisor this week, Brian Cashman has been feverishly reaching out to rival executives, looking for that 11th-hour magic that turns good groups into postseason terminators.
In reality, his group’s present five-game dropping streak and ever-growing damage record have turned Cashman right into a texting maniac.
What was as soon as thought of a free journey to the World Collection has taken an unexpected detour. Not solely are the Bombers 2.5 video games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays within the American League East, however they’re additionally simply two video games forward of the immediately legit Toronto Blue Jays, who acquired right-hander Taijuan Walker from the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
Walker was certainly one of Cashman’s targets, however there are others. No. 1 on his want record is Cleveland‘s Mike Clevinger, who can be a fantastic alternative for James Paxton (who’s harm) or J.A. Happ (a 37-year-old who’s regressed into mediocrity).
However in contrast to previous years, when Cashman has had implicit approval so as to add to the Yankees’ payroll, cash is a matter in 2020. Sources say taking part in in an empty Yankee Stadium within the Bronx will price the Steinbrenner household north of $100 million this yr. With these losses looming, one business insider mentioned, “I am not 100 p.c satisfied Money will get the OK to tackle an enormous contract this time round.”
It might be as much as Cashman to make his case to proprietor Hal Steinbrenner, who figured he would not must spend one other penny after doling out $324 million to Gerrit Cole in a nine-year deal. Cashman could or is probably not profitable, however listed below are a few of the candidates he is presently eyeing.
1 of 5
Tony Dejak/Related Press
Mike Clevinger is being overtly shopped after breaking Indians’ COVID-19 protocols earlier this month. The proper-hander was despatched residence to quarantine, and regardless that he is since returned to the rotation—he threw six robust innings in opposition to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday evening—it is questionable whether or not the group will ever belief him once more.
Put it this manner: Regardless of Clevinger’s appreciable expertise, the Indians is listening.
Sure, the Yankees are properly conscious of Clevinger’s immaturity and impulsivity, which had been evident in his determination to depart the group lodge in Chicago. He additional angered teammates by flying with them after the breach and failing to alert anybody to the attainable hazard. He continued to deceive them afterward.
Nonetheless, the Yankees assume he would profit in a brand new setting that stresses compliance and duty.
“We as a gaggle are very centered on the protocols,” mentioned one group official who famous Clevinger’s different interesting elements: his modest $Four.1 million wage in 2020 and the actual fact he will not be a free agent till 2023.
So what would it not take? The Yankees have a flat response to any question: Do not ask for Clint Frazier. They are not trying to transfer him, not with Aaron Decide and Giancarlo Stanton each nursing accidents. However Miguel Andujar can be a better promote, as would Mike Tauchman or Gio Urshela.
2 of 5
Jeff Chiu/Related Press
One of many hindrances to any deal this yr is the beneficiant playoff seeding. With 16 groups assured to be taking part in in October, the variety of sellers has been drastically decreased. In less complicated phrases, nearly everybody has a shot, and nobody is in a rush to provide away their lottery ticket.
Working example is the San Francisco Giants, who had been open to inquiries about Kevin Gausman—not less than till a seven-game profitable streak compelled president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi to rethink his pennant-race technique.
Gausman, who began Thursday evening in opposition to the Los Angeles Dodgers, might very properly stick to the Giants now that they’ve latched onto the National League‘s eighth and remaining playoff spot.
In case Zaidi modifications his thoughts, although, the Yankees can be amongst these on the entrance of the road. They like Gausman’s age (29) and strikeout ratio (42 in 31 innings). Give that he is solely signed by means of the top of the 2020 season, he can be a rental and would not price a lot.
He might be gone in two months, however their expertise evaluators imagine Gausman can be a marked improve over Happ within the No. 5 spot.
Three of 5
Tony Gutierrez/Related Press
The Yankees know and (form of) love Lance Lynn’s physique of labor within the Bronx from the 2018 season, when he was Three-2 with a Four.14 ERA in 11 video games down the stretch.
Lynn had his moments of greatness and some flops, however he threw laborious, challenged nearly everybody and exhibited a veteran’s calm in the midst of the pennant race. He will not be the employees ace, however his Four-Zero document and 1.59 ERA point out he might assist as soon as once more.
Keep in mind, the Yankees are merely searching for assist behind the rotation, and Lynn has proved he isn’t afraid to pitch within the Bronx. These are each motivating elements for Cashman.
Lynn is throwing properly for the Rangers this yr, who’re most likely past the attain of even the final playoff spot. It is the proper setting for the Yankees to swoop in with a mid-level participant in return—Tauchman instantly involves thoughts.
Lynn is 33 and signed by means of 2021. His wage? A modest $11.Three million, a determine with which Hal Steinbrenner might most likely stay.
In fact, there are different suitors—notably the Oakland A’s, who’re additionally searching for beginning pitching. However the Yankees might field them out with an upgraded supply of, say, Andujar, who’s struggled to search out at-bats because the membership has elevated Frazier’s footprint.
Four of 5
Nam Y. Huh/Related Press
A deal for Zach Plesac can be extra of a longshot for the Yankees, requiring a swing and miss on greater catches like Clevinger or Gausman. However Cashman has however checked on his availability, discovering that he, too, is on the market and (nonetheless) within the doghouse.
He, like Clevinger, was punished for stepping out of the group’s bubble through the highway journey to Chicago. However in contrast to Clevinger, who was given a reprieve from Cleveland’s alternate website to pitch Wednesday evening, Plesac continues to be aside from the membership, ready for his punishment to finish.
The Yankees would have a better time prying Plesac free contemplating he is 4 years youthful than Clevinger with much less mileage on his arm. He additionally has a shorter observe document with lower than two years of service time.
New York has its personal set of almost-ready-for-prime-time prospects, together with Mike King and Clarke Schmidt, so it is anybody’s guess whether or not Plesac’s upside can be extra enticing. However Cleveland is mad at Plesac, it wants offense, and the Yankees have loads of outfielders. There is a match if each groups need it.
Yet one more factor: Cashman and Cleveland normal supervisor Mike Chernoff have a historical past with one another. The 2 related on a megadeal in 2016 that despatched Andrew Miller to Cleveland for various up-and-comers, together with Frazier and Justus Sheffield, who Cashman later used to amass Paxton from the Seattle Mariners.
5 of 5
Aaron Gash/Related Press
Nobody doubts Trevor Bauer has the expertise and moxie to be a difference-maker within the Bronx. In some ways, he is precisely what the Yankees want over the past 30 video games of the common season, particularly now that the Bombers have found they’re in a bona fide race. Likelihood is Bauer would thrive on this setting.
However—and this can be a main disqualifier—he is one of many recreation’s most polarizing figures. He is uncooked and unfiltered and normally mad at somebody, whether or not it is Rob Manfred, Scott Boras or (all of) the Houston Astros.
One different essential asterisk: Bauer and Gerrit Cole hate one another. The feud has festered ever since their faculty days at UCLA and solely intensified throughout Houston’s dishonest scandal.
Persona points apart, Bauer’s availability is compromised by how a lot the Cincinnati Reds would ask for in return. Despite the fact that the right-hander shall be a free agent after this yr, it could take not less than Clint Frazier to get commerce talks previous the road of scrimmage.
That may be sufficient of a deterrent for Cashman to move even when he’d like to have a few of Bauer’s high quality 2020 begins—two shutouts and a 1.65 ERA in his first 5 outings—in pinstripes.