Analysis

Where Can The Yankees Look For Starting Pitching Help?

With news coming out that Luis Severino will be out for quite some time, where could the Yankees look now for starting pitching help?

Early Monday morning, Luis Severino felt discomfort in his right shoulder, which will more than likely keep him sidelined indefinitely. It seems as if this injury is going to linger with no return in sight. The clock is ticking on his season and in order for him to become the Yankees’ ace again, he must be pain-free. Having a Grade 2 lat strain now sidelines Severino for six-plus weeks which means they need to be able to add starting pitching.

Sure, it is still April with 152 games left, but in all honesty, even if the lat strain isn’t deemed that serious, the shut down will likely cause loss of preparation for the season and then the process of restarting his whole pitching regimen will take place yet again.

Theoretically speaking, he wouldn’t be back until June and from the looks of the early season, another top-tier starter could make this rotation a heck of a lot promising than it already is.

Here are some names to look for:

Free Agent Signings

Dallas Keuchel

While he hasn’t regained his Cy Young form since 2015, Keuchel has still been a top-of-the-line starter for a World Series contending team for the past three seasons. From 2016-2018 he is 35-28 with a 3.77 ERA in 518.1 innings pitched.

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Keuchel isn’t known for having overpowering stuff, but his groundball rate would help the Yankees tremendously especially for starts at home.  His groundball rate has always been above league average and is something the Yankees should think about if they aren’t looking to give up major assets for starting pitching. At 31 years old, he doesn’t have the normal wear-and-tear someone his age would have. He could be valuable for the Yankees for a couple more seasons including their 2019 World Series run.

Trade Targets

Madison Bumgarner

The 29-year-old is coming off an injury-riddled season where he only made 38 starts. The former World Series MVP has made three starts thus far and has pitched 19 innings sporting a 3.32 ERA for a San Francisco Giants ball club that is not playing its best ball earlier on. They seem to be sellers at the deadline even early on and having Bumgarner in pinstripes with his experience and savvy pitching would make this rotation freighting to opponents.

With an expiring deal, he might come cheaper than most and this is something the Yankees should try and get done early on in the season.  Pitching in New York is a different animal in San Francisco but he is a proven commodity and a perennial top ten pitcher when healthy.

Mike Minor

With only a $9.83 million in salary for the next two seasons, he could possibly be a cheap candidate for the Yankees early in the trade deadline.  With the early struggles of the Rangers, they could be looking to acquire young talent in exchange for proven veterans who want to win.

Mike Minor has always been solid whether it was for the Braves, Royals, and Rangers. His career 3.98 ERA is and only 899 innings pitched at the age of 31 could serve to be a great back-of-the-rotation arm and someone you could trust to eat innings throughout the course of the season.

Matt Boyd

If the Tigers fall out of contention for the AL Central, which seems likely, there should be no reason why the Tigers don’t pawn off their MLB talent for tantalizing prospects. Players such as Matt Boyd and Nick Castellanos should command a market worth watching.

Matt Boyd being only 28 years old and a free agent in 2023 might make the Tigers ponder trading a young asset, but with Michael Fulmer out for the year with Tommy John surgery and Jordan Zimmerman and his bloated contract, it makes sense to field offers for the southpaw.

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The Yankees remember his 13 strikeout performance at Yankee Stadium.  Boyd was confident and poised and decided to dismantle their lineup batter by batter.

Look for the Yankees to acquire a pitcher if the Severino injury proves to be season-ending. The Yankees cannot afford to lose the ace of their staff, but if they want to contend for the World Series and just a playoff spot they must look into adding better and quality starting pitching.

 

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