Serious Competition for the Arms Race…
The sprint to the trading deadline begins in earnest this week as teams jockey for position over the next couple of months. The trading deadline is Monday, July 31st at 4:00 pm Eastern.
I fully expect the Los Angeles Dodgers to be major players. Losing their ace and perhaps the best pitcher in baseball hurts. It does not appear that the back injury that kept Clayton Kershaw out of action for two months last year is as bad this year, but he will miss time. Current speculation is that he’ll be out 4-6 weeks. The Los Angeles Times was already calling for Yu Darvish by Monday morning (or someone of similar ability…Sonny Gray?). The Times used the analogy that the Chicago Cubs had to trade elite prospect Gleyber Torres last season to bring All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to Chicago. They go on to say that the Cubs would not have won the World Series if not for the trade, adding “it was a reminder that victory goes to the bold”. I think Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi and the Dodgers will be very bold in their attempt to bolster starting pitching, particularly considering that Brandon McCarthy has gone back on the DL too.
Credit: Jon SooHoo
I do not want to give up any top prospects beyond the recent loss of outfielder Blake Rutherford. This is tough because I would love to see Yu Darvish or Sonny Gray run out onto the field at Yankee Stadium wearing pinstripes. But you can’t make a deal like that without parting with top pitching talent, such as Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield. It would make more sense to trade for a lower profile pitcher and make room on the 40-man roster soon for Adams to make his MLB debut. But even that move comes with cost. Adams has another year before he’ll be Rule 5 eligible so creating room on the 40-man roster for Adams costs a potential spot for a quality prospect that must be protected this year. It doesn’t really matter if Adams is Major League-ready but that’s something only time will tell. Given the Yankees have shown they do not believe Adams is ready, it seems more likely we’ll see more roll-outs of Caleb Smith (or Luis Cessa) or eventually another one of the current 40-man roster arms like Dietrich Enns (below) or Ronald Herrera before we ever get a sniff of Adams at the MLB level.
Credit: Sean McKeag-Times Leader
By most accounts, the desire of the Houston Astros to acquire another starter has lessened with the activation off the DL of Collin McHugh and soon, Dallas Keuchel. The Milwaukee Brewers remain hot for a starting pitcher as do a few other teams. The Minnesota Twins finally completed their delayed acquisition of Atlanta starter (and former Cardinal) Jaime Garcia, while the Kansas City Royals grabbed Trevor Cahill from the San Diego Padres. There are arms to be had and based on the prices paid by the Twins and the Royals, it is possible to get help without sacrificing the farm.
GM Brian Cashman and crew have a very tough week ahead of them. They have hard decisions to make and they’ll have to stand before Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner with their recommendations. The AL East can be won, despite the presence of Chris Sale in Boston, so the decisions over the next week will go a long way toward deciding who is playing October baseball.
Glad D-Rob’s back home…
It has been a few years since David Robertson performed in a set-up role for the Yankees, but I had forgotten how he likes to run off the field at the conclusion of an inning. It is so great to see that again. He is one of a kind and a direct link to the great Mariano Rivera. I’ve been excited to have Tommy Kahnle back in the organization after being such a great admirer of his when he was a Yankees prospect, but there is something special about D-Rob and I am glad that he is back in pinstripes. It would have been very difficult to watch him pitch for a team like the Boston Red Sox. So, even if I haven’t said it too much on this blog site, I am very happy that D-Rob is a Yankee once again.
Credit: Jim McIsaac-Getty Images
Next Up: Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY…
The Yankees face the Reds for their second and final series this season. The teams split a two-game series in Cincinnati back in early May. The Reds represent a reunion for a few Yankees. Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman were once prominent Reds, and Didi Gregorius was a prospect in the organization (originally signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 2007).
Credit: Al Behrman-AP
Here are the scheduled pitching match-ups for the two-game series:
Reds: Luis Castillo (1-3, 3.86 ERA)
Yankees: Jordan Montgomery (6-5, 4.09 ERA)
Reds: Homer Bailey (2-4, 8.56 ERA)
Yankees: Luis Severino (6-4, 3.21 ERA)
Even without playing, the Yankees were able to gain a half game on the Boston Red Sox. The Sox replaced the Yankees at Safeco Field in Seattle and were shutout by James Paxton and the Mariners, 4-0. The Tampa Bay Rays also lost (5-0 to the Baltimore Orioles) so it was a great day off. The Yankees now trail the Red Sox by 2 games and increased their lead over the Rays by 1 1/2 games.
Have a great Tuesday! Let’s show Todd Frazier how to rock Yankees Stadium. Go Yankees!
Credit: Daniel Popper-NY Daily News