The Yankees are spending a lot of time scouting Trevor Bauer, and they have the young talent required to land the Indians ace.
Finding a starting pitcher capable of helping the Yankees in the postseason is Brian Cashman’s top priority at the moment. Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer is just the sort of pitcher that could help New York end their World Series drought.
There’s no question that Cashman and his front office are interested in Bauer. According to The Athletic, the team dispatched high level scouts to evaluate the 28-year-old during his start against the Reds on Sunday. It wasn’t a pleasure trip for the Yankees brass. Question marks over the health of Luis Severino have the team in the market for any potential ace that might be made available in the coming weeks.
It would appear that Bauer has now risen above the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Marcus Stroman in the eyes of the Yankees. There are questions over how Bauer’s outspoken personality might work in the Bronx, but there’s no debate about his physical talent. He’s pitching to a solid 3.61 ERA in 132 innings for the Tribe this year. The Yankees would love to add a high-ceiling arm capable of eating up a lot of innings during the second half of the season.
The obvious question to ask is whether or not the Yankees have the talent to convince Cleveland to part ways with Bauer. While no one knows exactly what the Indians might require in a trade, it’s safe to say that Cashman and company have the requisite pieces to get a deal done if they make Bauer a priority.
The general formula for acquiring an ace like Bauer would be to send one talented young player capable of helping immediately along with several prospects. In that scenario, Clint Frazier profiles as the most likely young player to headline any package. He struggled with his defense during his time in the Bronx this season, but he’s ready to be an above-average hitter immediately. There’s also a prevalent theory that Frazier’s play would improve away from the scrutiny of the New York media. The Indians certainly are familiar with the outfielder since they are the organization that originally drafted him.
Parting ways with Frazier would be fairly comfortable for Cashman. The Yankees have an abundance of outfield talent and there are valid questions about his makeup. The real pain for the organization would come in deciding which prospects they’re willing to give up on to bring Bauer to the Bronx.
Estevan Florial is currently rated as the No. 1 prospect in New York’s system, and he’s likely a player the Indians would ask for in any deal. Interestingly enough, he’s a player Cashman might move. The organization would prefer to part ways with him compared to young right-hander Deivi Garcia or recent international signee Jasson Dominguez.
Basing a deal on Frazier and Florial would greatly reduce Cleveland’s ability to obtain a highly-rated third piece in the deal. The Yankees have a number of young, interesting prospects who can push the trade over the top. It might take some hard negotiating from both sides, but there’s a deal to be made here that would benefit both sides.
None of this means the Yankees will make a big offer for Bauer. The point is only that the team has the assets to make a trade if they believe he’s the player who will put them over the top. Time will tell if Cashman believes Bauer is a true difference maker.