We’re just over a month past the trade deadline, when the Yankees made a handful of moves to bolster the pitching staff, both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. At the time, none of thee trades seemed to be a major splash. Any big arms that teams coveted were considered off limits, such as Jacob deGrom and Madison Bumgarner.
Brian Cashman settled for starters J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn after adding left-handed reliever Zach Britton from the Orioles. All three have had plenty of outings in pinstripes, so let’s check on how those acquisitions are doing over the past month since coming to the Bronx.
The Yankees’ first acquisition was Britton, who was coming off an Achilles injury. The southpaw arrived in New York with a 3.45 ERA, and had recorded a scoreless performance in 14 of his 16 appearance for the Orioles.
After a crisp 1-2-3 frame against the Royals in his first appearance with the Yankees, Britton struggled through a period where he lost command of the lower half of the strike zone. He allowed six free passes in his next 5.1 innings, but he has started to find his way of late. In his last seven appearances, Britton hasn’t allowed a walk, as perhaps he is starting to feel more like himself in his new setting. With Aroldis Chapman on the shelf nursing an injured knee, a lefty arm like Britton could be a huge factor in the bullpen down the stretch, especially given his closing experience.
The Yankees felt Lynn’s impact omn the team almost immediately after he was brought over from the Twins, when he was needed in an emergency relief role after one of Sonny Gray’s terrible outings. Lynn tossed 4.1 shutout innings in that game against the Orioles, and followed that up with seven shutout frames against the White Sox. Lynn hasn’t been as effective of late, allowing 13 runs in his last 15 innings, but he has still been another arm that eats up innings to lighten the load on the bullpen. With the injury to Jordan Montgomery and the nightmare season for Gray, Lynn has been a decent pickup.
The clear and overwhelming success story so far has been Happ, who was brought over from Toronto with a 4.18 ERA. Yes, he did produce a clunker against the Tigers in his most recent start, but he wasn’t going to put up numbers like he did in his first five Yankee starts every time he took the mound. In those games, Happ posted a 2.37 ERA en route to a series of victories for the Bombers. Again, his most recent start of 10 hits and three homers over 4.1 innings was far from ideal, but overall, the trade for Happ has to be considered a win for the Yankees.