Is Craig Kimbrel the Answer to the Pitching Questions?

Yesterday was certainly a less than ideal day for the Yankees with their biggest competitor in the division getting an ace pitcher, the Yankees losing one of their best ones and losing a tough game on a walk-off hit. The Blue Jays are certainly a threat to the Yankees in the division with the additions of David Price and Troy Tulowitzki. However, with the six game lead the Yankees have in the AL East if they can take care of their own business it doesn't matter who Toronto picks up. People are forgetting that the Blue Jays running down the Yankees would not just mean the Blue Jays getting hot, but the Yankees cooling off considerably as well. Both have to happen. Michael Pineda's forearm injury turned the starting pitching need into an even greater one. If Pineda starts throwing in 7-10 days like he says he is supposed to then a month seems about reasonable for his return. It could potentially be a blessing in disguise if the Yankees can trade for some talent to replace him in the sort term and have a fresh Pineda ready for the September stretch run and October.

With Price and Cole Hamels off the trade market the question is now where do the Yankees go for pitching. There are no more elite options starting. Tyson Ross is by far the best guy available, but the Yankees will not give up the prospects required to get a talented and cost controlled pitcher like him.

Thus, Craig Kimbrel continues to be rumored to the Yankees even after they reportedly turned down a Kimbrel for Jorge Mateo offer. He hasn't been quite as good as normal for him this season, but still has been awesome with a 2.46 xFIP, only one blown save and a 12.58 K/9 ratio. If San Diego is desperate to get to get rid of the contract and the price comes down it would make sense for the Yankees to pounce. Kimbrel has been the consensus best closer in MLB for years and with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances would form an unbeatable bullpen. In the playoffs with the days off now you can basically cover the last four innings with those three pitchers and ride them just like the Royals did last year.

If it was a choice between Kimbrel and a starter Kimbrel probably gets the nod as the most impact guy the Yankees could get. However, it shouldn't really be a choice. They need to go get both. About every major competitor in the AL has made a big acquisition and it's time for the Yankees to strike. Kimbrel, a trade for a starting pitcher and either Luis Severino or Bryan Mitchell taking CC Sabathia's spot would make the Yankees a much more formidable team. This has been the best buyers trade market I can remember in awhile, so it would be nice to see the Yankees take advantage. Hopefully they did not already blow their chance.