The Yankees made a move to add Edwin Encarnacion to the middle of their batting order this week, but they won’t rest until a starting pitcher is acquired.
There’s no question what the Yankees need to do to strengthen their World Series credentials this season. The starting rotation must get an infusion of talent to be a factor in October. That fact certainly isn’t lost on Brian Cashman and his front office.
The Yankees made a bit of a surprise move to add Edwin Encarnacion to their powerful lineup this week. The move cost New York a little bit of money and a relatively unknown prospect in the form of Juan Then. It was certainly an example of the Yankees strengthening a strength.
Cashman knows that his work isn’t done. In a recent interview with the YES Network, the normally tight-lipped executive admitted that it is “his job to reinforce [the Yankees] rotation.” Those words should be sufficient to placate a passionate fan base that is desperate to see a high-impact starter added to manager Aaron Boone’s starting rotation.
Of course, adding a potential ace is a lot easier to talk about than it is to actually do. Pitching is always at a premium and this season is no different. The likes of Madison Bumgarner, Marcus Stroman and Michael Boyd should hit the trade market, but no quality starter is going to move on the cheap. Cashman will need to part with quality young players if he wants to acquire a difference maker ahead of the trade deadline.
Fortunately for Cashman, he’s got plenty of young talent to work with. Both Clint Frazier and Thairo Estrada have proven they have what it takes to be quality Major League starters, but each player currently resides in AAA at the moment. Including one, or both of those players in a deal could be enough to net the Yankees the top of the rotation arm they crave.
The organization also boasts several intriguing prospects that could be used to sweeten or facilitate a deal all on their own. Estevan Florial was limited due to injury to start the season, but now he’s back on the field and playing good baseball. He’s universally regarded as the Yankees top Minor League prospect at the moment. He won’t be moved without serious internal discussions, but he’ll absolutely be a name that will be bandied about frequently in the media.
If the Yankees don’t strengthen their starting rotation before the trade deadline hits it certainly won’t be for a lack of effort. Cashman and company will work every angle they can, but don’t expect them to be bullied into a deal where they’re forced to overpay.