Greetings, Pinstripe AlleyCats!
It is well-documented on the internet streets that the Yankees are a potent juggernaut with a shaky starting rotation. While this is a fair assessment, the Yankees starting rotation is only shaky when comparing it to the elite staff of Verlander/Cole/Kuechel. I would take this Yankees staff over Sale/Price's-video-game-addiction/Porcello at this juncture. But I digress. The Yankees weakness is it's starting rotation, and I am here to fix that.
The 2 most obvious candidates are Chris Archer (TB) and Cole Hamels (TEX), so we'll start there (and potentially finish there; keep reading to find out!)
Chris Archer. Stud. He's having a bit of a down year, by most metrics, but this is not a concern to me. It's very early, he's a very good pitcher, I expect "progression to the mean". Now, the all-important question is: "What is the cost?" The cost for an All-Star pitcher on an insanely team-friendly contract? High. It's going to cost a lot, and it's going to hurt. But trades often have to hurt if you are shooting for a title. The Yankees can match/beat any trade offer that Tampa has for Archer, it's only a matter of how bad it's going to hurt. If I'm Cashman, I keep Torres as untouchable, but Andújar is on the table. If I'm Tampa, Andújar alone does not get it done. I need at least one higher-end prospect, and probably a throw-in to sweeten the deal. Let's go ahead and assume Domingo Germán will throw 6 innings of no-hit baseball every 5 days for the next 2 months. Fair? No? Fine. Let's assume he stands in as a serviceable starter with electric stuff and potential to become a middle-of-the-rotation guy. Hey, Tampa, how's about Andújar + Germàn for your best player who is under team control for 3 more seasons beyond this one, at approximately $8m/year? Tampa: "nah, what else you got?" Here is where the Yankees separate from the rest of the teams likely looking to add Archer. Yankee "throw-ins" will likely be more valuable than what other teams can throw in. I feel like Tyler Wade fits the Tampa mold pretty well, and so I think Andújar+Germán+Wade (or Tyler Austin, or Thairo Estrada, or Billy McKinney, or Giovanny Gallegos, or Jonathan Loasiga, etc.) could work for Tampa. Sucks to say goodbye to Miggy, but hopefully Drury beats this migraine thing, and we have our 3rd baseman of the present and future still ready to go. It's asking a lot to just hope he beats his migraine issue, but as I mentioned, if this trade is going to happen, it's going to hurt.
Cole Hamels. The seasoned vet with the big, ugly contract. Hamels is in the midst of an OK season. Certainly not his best work, but not a failure of a season. The asking price for Hamels should be considerably lower than that of Archer, due to the big contract and age of the player. To complete this one, it shouldn't hurt quite as bad. To bring in Hamels' salary and also stay under the tax (which is a stated goal of the Steinbrenner family, but I don't need to tell you that, you well-read Yankee fan you!), we're going to need to either 1. sweeten the deal so that Texas will pay a portion of the contract to keep us under the tax, or 2. transfer some of our money to them (lookin' at you, Jacoby). This deal starts with the hope that we'll be able to deal from strength, and part ways with Brandon Drury, who currently has no clear path to the Big Club. Obviously Drury alone doesn't get it done. They need pitching. Let's avoid dealing Montgomery if at all possible. So, again, we can look to Germán and one of the young, unproven arms (not Sheffield) to send over to Texas. Drury+Germán+Adams should be enough to get it done. "But wait, you said something about luxury tax earlier!" Oh, you're right, commenter, I did. So to fix this dilemma, the Yankees will throw in Jacoby Ellsbury and eat $18m of the $22m he is owed, because he can be a serviceable 4th outfielder for Texas, and at $4m/year, it's a bargain. There. It's done. Ellsbury is gone. Hamels is wearing pinstripes, and balance is restored to the Galaxy (or something).
I'd like to hear where I screwed up, and how stupid I am, so, have at it, folks. If you work for the site, and are reading this, go ahead and offer me all the jobs.