This is the third part of an examination to see what top starting pitchers might be available for the Yankees to acquire.
Here are the previous installments:
Many (most?) baseball experts, wanna-be experts, writers, commentators, podcasters, posters, and bloggers feel that the Yankees need at least one more starting pitcher to enhance the club. There is this sense that the Yankees need an ace. I agree.
I also think that with the post-season seemingly within easy reach, the time is NOW for the Yankees to build the rotation that will allow them to dominate in the post season and bring home a championship.
But, this begs the question… WHO TO GET? Is there an ace pitcher that will be available before the end of July? If so, who?
In this exercise, I am not going to speculate on what the Yankees might need to give up to get an ace starting pitcher. Rather, I’m just interested in finding a would-be ace who is available. Or, rather, is an ace even available?
For this exercise, I’ll now look at the list of the Top-10 pitchers in 2019 in WHIP and quickly determine if that player might be able to be acquired via trade…
Justin Verlander, Astros - Verlander is an Ace. He’s the kind of pitcher the Yankees need. He has appeared on all three lists in this series so far. He’s not coming to New York to play in 2019. Nothing to see here. Move on…
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers - A Dodger, also leads MLB in ERA, already on a first place team. Nope. He won’t be a Yankee this year.
Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks - We looked at him in Part 2 of this series. Nope.
Max Scherzer, Nationals - The Ace of Aces. I just don’t see the Nationals as sellers. If any of these players might get traded, maybe it might be Scherzer. If it does, the Yankees have to go all-in. But it isn’t happening. Next…
Yonny Chirinos, Rays - Nope. The Tampa Bay Rays are not going to help the Yankees.
Walker Buehler, Dodgers - Again, he won’t be available. He’s a Dodger. The Dodgers plan to get to the World Series where they will want to defeat the Yankees (if they make it). The Dodgers are not going to help the Yankees.
Shane Bieber, Indians - Nope. Cleveland is in the race. They lead the Wild Card. They plan on being in the post season.
Gerrit Cole, Houston - The Astros wish to beat the Yankees in the post season. Move on…
Charlie Morton, Rays - See Yonny Chirinos. No way will he be available.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals - Now this is interesting. He is signed through 2023. The Nationals have post-season aspirations. Might they fall out of the race in a few weeks? It’s highly unlikely. But, if they do…
We have now looked at three lists highlighting the top ten pitchers using different standards. So far, the only pitcher who might become available is Mike Minor of the Rangers. Again, people mention Trevor Bauer, but if the Indians are contending for a post season appearance, why would they trade him?
This exercise is demonstrating how extremely valuable great pitchers are. These guys do not become available very often, but when they are available, a team that wishes to compete must do everything they can to get the great pitcher. For the Yankees, if they are looking for a top-flight starter, there just might not be one they can get.
We’ll look some more tomorrow…