The New York Yankees already have made one move acquiring slugger Edwin Encarnacion in a trade last week, but you can bet that’s just the beginning of the Yanks’ summer shopping.
Brian Cashman has not been shy about his desire to bolster his team’s starting rotation. And that admission has drawn people to assume the Bombers will have Madison Bumgarner at the top of their list.
The San Francisco ace is a free agent at the end of the season, and with the Giants in the basement of the National League West division, Bumgarner’s playoff accolades will make him one of the most coveted arms available at the trade deadline.
But, could the Yankees favor a few other options over Bumgarner? New York Post columnist Joel Sherman noted that Bumgarner doesn’t exactly fit the kind of pitchers the Yankees have pursued in the past.
“Through 15 starts this season Bumgarner was 42nd among 80 qualified starters in strikeout percentage and 71st in groundball percentage,” Sherman wrote. “If you add those rates it is 59.9%. At the time of acquisition by the Yankees, Paxton was 71.9%, Happ 72, Lynn 72.1, Garcia 73.3 and Gray 80.2.
“Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has mentioned, among what is publicly available, liking xFIP, which attempts to remove defense and estimate run prevention based on items such as strikeouts, walks and flyballs. All five of the Yankees’ recent starter acquisitions had a lower xFIP than their actual ERA. Bumgarner’s is higher.”
Unless the Yanks are especially enamored with Bumgarner’s postseason résumé, they instead could pursue Marcus Stroman, Trevor Bauer, Matthew Boyd or Zack Wheeler, Sherman wrote. All four of those options have at least one year left on their contract as well, which could be more attractive for New York.
Pitching always is at a premium come the trade deadline, and that figures to be the case again come July 31.
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