We’re still about two weeks away from the MLB trade deadline, but the rumors are flying about as fast ever. The Yankees continue to be linked to a variety of targets, all on the pitching side. Today, Jon Heyman tweeted that New York is particularly high on Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer.
The Yankees’ interest in Bauer is predictable given their desire for a starter, but it remains unclear if Cleveland has designs on trading their best healthy pitcher at the moment. Cleveland sits just one game ahead of the pack in the Wild Card race, so now would seem an unconventional time to deal away a frontline starter. Bauer himself comes with countless warts and abundant talent, having posted a 158 ERA+ and 391 strikeouts in 320 innings over the past two seasons.
Heyman also mentioned the Yankees’ interest in Madison Bumgarner, while SNY’s Andy Martino reports today that the Yankees are “lukewarm” on the Giants’ left-hander. From Martino’s article:
As previously reported, the Yankees... consider Bumgarner in a class below deadline targets Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman and Zack Wheeler (if healthy). But they’re not totally out on him, in part because he might come at a lower price.
The placement of Bumgarner in a tier below those younger arms makes sense, though Bumgarner did turn in a scintillating start last night, yielding just one run to the Mets across nine frames. Of course, that big performance helped lead San Francisco to a victory, one that puts them just 2.5 games back of the second NL Wild Card. The odds of a Bumgarner trade fall with every day the Giants stay in the hunt.
Elsewhere, there are rumors on the Zack Greinke front:
Belief is that if they sell Dbacks would be willing to pay down — perhaps by 10M/year — the 80M remaining on Greinke through 2021, depending the return of course. Greinke remains a top starter, but wIth 15-team no-trade list and belief he prefers to stay, deal not overly likely.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 19, 2019
As Heyman notes, Greinke’s contract and partial no-trade clause lessen the chances of a deal. That being said, the circumstances still line up deliciously for the Yankees. An ace with a big contract on the market, available to any team with deep pockets willing to pay him what he’s worth? That sounds like a golden opportunity to fire a kill shot in the pennant chase, if the Yankees could find it within themselves to breach the final competitive balance threshold.
A Greinke move appears highly unlikely, but it’s possible to dream, especially since just last month the Yankees used a rebuilding team’s unwillingness to pay money to a star in order to bring in said star (Edwin Encarnacion, in this case). Regardless of how likely each individual rumored move remains, where there’s smoke, there’s bound to be some amount of fire. I wouldn’t bet on the Yankees acquiring any one of these players in particular, but based on the amount of rumors we’ve already seen, it’s clear they’ll grab someone. Just a dozen days left until we know for sure who.