The Yankees could use another starting pitcher, but Brian Cashman and company aren’t going to rush to trade for Madison Bumgarner.
Injuries to Luis Severino and James Paxton have the Yankees in need of another starting pitcher. That doesn’t mean general manager Brian Cashman is going to break the bank for Madison Bumgarner. The Giants ace isn’t a priority for New York at the moment.
One source close to the team claims the Yankees “aren’t particularly high” on the Giants’ southpaw. Instead, they prefer the idea of signing Dallas Keuchel in approximately one month. That’s when the former Astros’ pitcher can be signed without forcing New York to give up any draft compensation.
Cashman’s preference to move for Keuchel over Bumgarner doesn’t mean the team’s front office prefers Keuchel. The difference in potential compensation between the two hurlers is significant. The Giants will expect to receive a big return for their No. 1 starter. The Yankees have quality talent in their farm system, but Cashman isn’t an executive who likes to deal any young talent away if it’s not required.
All the Yankees need to sign Keuchel is money. The team is concerned about their payroll as it relates to the luxury tax, but they’re not going to let a few million dollars stand in the way of a potential World Series title. If Cashman believes Keuchel is the difference between postseason glory and an early playoffs exit, he’ll find a way to make the deal work.
It’s also worth noting that Keuchel will remain an attractive potential signing for the Yankees even if Severino and Paxton return to the rotation on time. The organization is very concerned about just how many innings Jonathan Loaisiga and Domingo German can handle this season. German has been the ace of the team’s staff on the young season, but he doesn’t project to be a pitcher who can handle a 200-inning workload. Loaisiga’s injury history means he’ll likely top out much closer to 100 innings pitched.
In fairness, there’s still plenty of time for the Yankees to change their mind. If Bumgarner continues to pitch like he did in his prime, it’s possible that New York will change its position. For the moment, Yankees fans should keep a much closer eye on Keuchel’s free agency than Bumgarner’s trade market.