The New York Yankees are expected to try to bolster their starting pitching depth later in the season to improve their World Series chances. The Yankees caught a big fish in the offseason when they acquired Giancarlo Stanton in a trade with the Miami Marlins. However, the Yankees failed to add another high-quality pitcher, but they will likely look for a new starter around the trade deadline.
The Yankees tried to improve their starting pitching depth and actually reached out to the Cleveland Indians about a possible deal for Danny Salazar, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. No deal was reached, but Joe Giglio of NJ Advance Media said that the trade talks could be revisited around the deadline.
Giglio said that the Yankees might get a better chance of landing Salazar around the trade deadline. Salazar will begin the 2018 MLB season on the disabled list. He pointed out that the Indians appear ready to move on with starters Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Josh Tomlin, and Mike Clevinger. He also added that the right-hander will not be arbitration-eligible until next winter and could only become a free agent after the 2021 season.
Salazar would improve the rotation of the Yankees if they successfully land him before the deadline. However, there are still a lot of questions about the 28-year-old pitcher’s durability. He was limited to 23 starts and 103 innings pitched last season and is still out because of a shoulder injury.
When healthy, the Dominican Republic could make an impact. In 2015, he managed to start 30 games and went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA. In 2016, he went 11-6 in 25 starts with a 3.87 ERA and 161 strikeouts. He had a measly 5-6 record in 23 starts last season, but he actually tallied 145 strikeouts in just 103 innings pitched for the Indians.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the Yankees will take a gamble on the oft-injured starter. New York will start the season with Luis Severino, Sonny Gray, Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and Jordan Montgomery as starters. They need to address their starting pitching depth as an insurance policy in case one of their starters gets injured.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Post that they tried to add pitching options, but “nothing lined up with all parties” over the past several months. They were linked to Yu Darvish, who eventually signed with the Chicago Cubs. Alex Cobb was also in the mix, but the former Tampa Bay Rays starter agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday, according to John Heyman of FanRag Sports.