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Yankees potential trade partner: San Diego Padres

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The Yankees and Padres are frequent trade partners. Could they make a deal before the deadline?

MLB: San Diego Padres at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Manny Machado is undoubtedly the jewel of the trade deadline, and while the Yankees have made an offer, it is unlikely that the Orioles will flip him to a division rival. Of course, it always makes sense to add another bat to improve the lineup, but the area where the Yankees really need help is the rotation. Brian Cashman has been looking high and low for pitchers. Could he work out a deal with the Padres?

Let’s start with the most obvious trade candidate: Tyson Ross. The Yankees have been trying to acquire the right-hander since the summer of 2015. Ross, 31, got off to a nice start to the season with a 3.13 ERA over his first ten outings. Our very own Kento Mizuno even encouraged the Yankees to make a deal for him back in May.

He has not pitched as well as of late, though. After averaging just above 9 K/9 through the first two months of the season, that number dipped to 6.75 K/9 in June. His home run rate has climbed since June, and the wheels have really started to fall of in July. Ross was recently hit hard by the Pirates and Diamondbacks over back-to-back outings, surrendering a whopping 15 earned runs across just seven total innings. The Yankees might be better off sticking with Domingo German than trading for Ross.

If New York can’t find a starter, they could opt to improve their pitching by adding an arm to the bullpen. The weakest link in the bullpen is Chasen Shreve, but the Yankees have been unwilling to make Aroldis Chapman their only left-handed reliever. Padres closer Brad Hand could solve that problem. Hand, 28, has been lights out since joining the Padres in 2016. The lefty is a strikeout machine, already notching 64 across 43.1 innings. He has a 2.91 ERA with 1.08 WHIP, and he would undoubtedly make the Yankee ‘pen even better. Hand is signed to a three-year, $19.8 million deal with a team option in 2021.

Alternatively, the Yankees could choose to reunite with old friend Kirby Yates instead. The right-hander has really come into his own during his time in San Diego. Yates looks like a completely different pitcher than the guy who posted a 5.23 ERA in New York. He has a shiny 1.51 ERA with 11.36 K/9, 2.78 BB/9 and 0.25 HR/9 through 35.2 innings. His groundball rate is the highest of his career at 49.4%, and opponents are hitting just .172 against him. Some of that success can be attributed to the slider that he adopted this year.

It sounds like the price for Yates might not be particularly cheap, but don’t forget that Cashman somehow convinced the Padres to take on Chase Headley just because they wanted Bryan Mitchell back in December. That deal hasn’t exactly worked out for San Diego, but that shouldn’t stop them from future trades.

Do you think that Cashman should try to strike a deal with the Padres? What prospects would you include in a package for any of these pitchers? Let us know in the comment section.