The New York Yankees have started out the second half in an inauspicious way. The team lost the first of three games to the cross-river rival New York Mets, escaped a victory in the second game. The third game was rained out and the team headed to Florida to battle division rival Tampa Bay Rays, in which they had dropped the first game. In last week’s article, one of the needs I expressed that the Yankees must address is their starting pitching. As we go to press, the Yankees are currently 6 games behind of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the American League East Division, and lately, the Red Sox simply don’t lose so every Yankee lost looms critical. So, what can the Yankees do to improve their pitching in hopes to compete with the Red Sox and other powerhouse teams in the AL come October?
One of the rumors that have circulated the past few weeks is a cross-river trade that would send Mets ace pitcher Jacob deGrom to the Bronx. It will be quite the challenge for the Yankees to acquire deGrom simply because the Mets’ “asking price” for their top ace pitcher is rumored to be a high one as far as what they would want back in return. DeGrom has had an amazing season (statistically) despite not having a high win total due to the Mets being unable to score runs in his starts. According to a source, the Mets would want a trade with the Yankees that would involve their top phenom player Gleyber Torres. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has already gone on record saying that Torres, 21, is completely “untouchable” in any trade talks. Other pitching names linked to the Yanks have been Blue Jays pitcher J.A. Happ (lefty) and Texas Rangers lefty Cole Hamels. Both pitchers have had solid baseball careers but would not be considered a significant upgrade.
Although the Yankees have gone through a rough patch, they do have an explosive offense that is the pivotal reason to their success so far this season led by sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Also, let’s not ignore the amazing performances by Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Their offense will be great, however, aside from their ace pitcher Luis Severino, the Yankees do not really have a complimentary No. 2 pitcher. Masahiro Tanaka can have a few good outings followed by a few bad outings. Veteran pitcher C.C. Sabathia has pitched quite well, however, his past knee issues will be an ongoing concern moving forward and Sonny Gray is not the pitcher the team hoped they were getting when they acquired him in a mid-season trade last year from Oakland. Whatever the Yankees try to do, they will do with caution as they will try to upgrade the pitching rotation or bullpen as much as they can. The question is, “Would they be willing to part ways with their top-tier minor league pitchers to do so?” Stay tuned.
Sports Notes: (Baseball) BREAKING NEWS! As we go to press, the Yankees made a move that should improve their bullpen by coming to terms to acquire Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton. Britton will join a bullpen that already includes household names such as Dellin Betances, David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman. New York’s bullpen currently leads the Major Leagues with a 2.75 ERA (earned run average) and 448 strikeouts. (Boxing) Boxing returns to Brooklyn as two of the top fighters in the world clash as Danny “Swift” Garcia takes on Shawn Porter on September 8 for a vacant Welterweight world title.