The Yankees need to add a starting pitcher before the deadline to strengthen their own roster, but they also need to stop the Astros from adding an ace.
The MLB trade deadline is almost here and the Yankees are still in the market for a pitcher who can upgrade their starting rotation. New York doesn’t only need to strengthen their own options, they also need to prevent the Astros from making a trade to upgrade their formidable rotation.
At the moment, it seems that both American League powers are in the market for the best pitchers who might hit the open market. According to Jon Heyman, both the Yankees and Astros are keeping tabs on Trevor Bauer and Madison Bumgarner. There’s no guarantee either pitcher will move ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, but they do represent the two best, and realistic, arms who may move.
The Yankees and Astros are interested in the pair for very different reasons. For Brian Cashman and his front office, the quest to acquire a quality starting pitcher is seen by most as a necessity. CC Sabathia’s recent trip to the Injured List only heightens the organization’s need to add a quality option to their rotation. The group has struggled mightily as a whole over the last few weeks which has thrown manager Aaron Boone’s potential postseason rotation into absolute disarray.
The Astros have no such concerns. Their rotation is flush with guys who can shut down talented offenses in October. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are both bona fide aces with a strong history of postseason success. Wade Miley’s excellent performance this season gives Houston three pitchers they can comfortably rely on in the postseason. As such, the Astros front office is shopping for a player who can take their potential playoff rotation from great to something even better.
The Yankees can’t afford to allow Houston to strengthen their advantage. They know all too well how difficult it can be to deal with the likes of Verlander and Cole in big games. New York cannot afford to let their league rivals to add a third stud who could torment the Yankees in the playoffs.
Of course, the challenge for Cashman and company is that they don’t want to give up prime prospects for any pitcher who might end up being a rental. The Yankees also don’t want to overpay another team just because the Astros are looming in trade talks. It’s a difficult needle for Cashman and his staff to thread before Wednesday’s deadline.
Yankee fans need to keep a very close eye on the trade market. Not only should they hope for Cashman to swing a deal to bring an impact arm to the Bronx, they also need to hope that Houston can’t do the same.