This is the fourth 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?
I have come to the conclusion that looking at the top pitchers by various metrics might not be the way to go. Instead, let’s look at pitchers on teams that are most likely out of the race.
Is there a ace-type pitcher on a losing team in the American League with little or no chance for the postseason that might make sense for the Yankees?
Toronto Blue Jays:
The Blue Jays are out of it. They are 24.5 games out of first place and 17.5 games behind in the Wild Card. They have three starters who have started more than 15 games in 2019. These are:
Aaron Sanchez (3-12, 6.16) - He’s not an ace.
Trent Thornton (3-5, 4.85) - He’s not an ace.
Marcus Stroman (11-5, 3.18) - Stroman is a very solid pitcher. He has accumulated 2.5 WAR this year. Stroman has not been great over his career, but he has a ton of talent. He’s only 28. He just might be finally coming into his own. If I’m the Yankees and Stroman is available, I would have to strongly make a push to get him. He could be a difference maker.
To put it plainly, the Orioles are terrible. They are 27-62. Might they have a starting pitcher to trade?
Dylan Bundy (4-10, 4.65) - No
Andrew Cashner (9-3, 3.83) - Hummmm…. Maybe? No, in his career, he’s had one winning season (10-9 in 2013). He’s 32. He doesn’t move the needle for the Yankees. He also indicated before the season that he would consider walking away from baseball if he was traded at the deadline.
John Means (7-4, 2.50) - YES! Means’ WHIP is 1.08. He’s accumulated 3.4 WAR this year. Means is a 26 year-old lefty in his first full big league season. He taken his time getting to the big leagues, but now that he’s here, I don’t think the Orioles will be shopping him. If Means can be had, the Yankees should jump on that opportunity.
Chicago White Sox:
42-44 for the season. They’re not terrible, but they’re also seven games back (in seventh place) in the Wild Card hunt. They are out of it… and they have
Lucas Giolito (11-3, 3.15) - 24 years-old, in his second full big league season, he’s breaking out in a big way. The sky has always been the limit with Giolito. Alas! I just don’t think the White Sox are shopping…him.
Reynaldo Lopez and Ivan Nova both have ERA’s over 5.50. The only guy on the White Sox who is intriguing is Giolito. If he became available, the Yankees would have to sell the farm. And I would.
Kansas City Royals:
The Royals are 30-61. Ouch.
Let me save the reader time… they don’t have any starters (more than 15 games started in 2019) who would help the Yankees in their quest for an ace.
The Tigers are 28-57. Man, these are some bad teams.
Matthew Boyd (6-6, 3.87) - The Tigers record in his first eight starts was 5-3. Ok. Not bad. He’s a lefty, I like lefties… But, since that 5-3 start, in his next eight starts, the Tigers have gone 2-8. Ouch. His season ERA has risen after each start since May 28 when it was 2.85. Boyd is 28. His WHIP is 1.12 after being 1.16 last year. I want to like him. I want to state that he’s an under-the-radar guy… Maybe he is. How would he pitch if he had a good team behind him? I am intrigued.
Daniel Norris (2-8, 4.96) - No
Spencer Turnbull (3-8, 3.31) - A 26 year old kid in his first full season. I like his potential, but he’s not the guy for the 2019 Yankees.
Los Angeles Angels:
45-46. These guys are just a half-game ahead of the White Sox. They’re probably out of it.
Mike Trout (0-0, 0.00) - If he becomes available, the Yankees should be all-in.
Otherwise, there really is no pitcher on the Angels who the Yankees should consider. Griffin Canning is a 23 year-old kid with a WHIP of 1.09. The Angels, I am sure, aren’t ready to deal him.
The Mariners are 39-55.
See the Royals above. There’s nothing here to deliver an ace to the Yankees.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the National League…