by Jesse Liptzin, special to NYSportsDay
As the trade deadline approached and passed the Yankees find themselves still needing a starting pitcher and as well as an addition to the injury plagued bullpen. Acquisitions in either area would have come in handy as the team tries to right their proverbial ship after a tough run against the Red Sox and Diamondbacks. Still, it was far too quiet in the Bronx, as the Bombers’ only trade landed them Colorado’s starting pitcher Alfredo Garcia. Garcia is 20 years old and has spent time in the minors all season. His record is a measly 3-10 with an exorbitant 6.00 ERA. In return they Yankees sent minor league reliever Joseph Harvey. Harvey has recorded 9 saves this season with an alluring 3.12 ERA at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre. The trade seems to have very little effect on the immediate situation, as the Yankees find themselves with the same lackluster pitching, that had them at 2-4 in their past six games before a four-game sweep of the reeling Red Sox this weekend.
At the time of the deadline, the Yankees pitching staff’s combined ERA of 4.38 ranked 15th in MLB (it’s now 4.33, good for 11th), with both the Astros and Dodgers pitching staffs listed in the top 3. The Astros are a major road block in the Yankees’ aspirations to reach the World Series, where the Dodgers could be their likely opponent. Vegas, specifically Caesars, considers the Astros an 11-4 favorite of winning the World Series. They also were aggressive making a blockbuster move that landed them Zack Greinke from the D-Backs. The Astros now have the three highest rated WHIP for pitchers in the league. This means that with Justin Verlander the game 1 starter, Greinke on the bump in game 2, and Gerrit Cole on the hill in game 3, it will be quite a difficult combination for any opposing team. Greinke did have a no trade clause for New York and sources say he would have declined any proposal from the Diamondbacks to send him there. According to Caesars Sportsbook the Dodgers at 11-4 as well. L.A. stayed fairly distant from any trade talks; like the Yankees they did not land any big names.
The Yankees starting pitching has been the “Achilles heel” for this squad. They had an offer from the Diamondbacks for Robbie Ray which never really came close to completion. Top names like Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Trevor Bauer, and Madison Bumgarner are all dominant starters, but never materialized in any Yankee trade talks. Stroman was dealt from the Blue Jays to the Mets where they also held onto “Thor” A.K.A Syndergaard. Cashman called the deadline a “unique” one. He said. “Most everything was out of reach.” The Yankees finished back-to-back series with the Twins and Red Sox where they allowed at least 6 runs in all 7 games. Even with the best offense in baseball it’s hard to produce runs at that rate.
The injuries that have created these holes are at starting pitching were to Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery is likely to miss the rest of the season, but with no moves at the deadline fans are expecting that Sevy can make a return and so does the manager, Aaron Boone. When asked about Severino’s activity, Boone said, “We expect to see him (this season) absolutely,” according to Coley Harvey from ESPN. Severino has been in the top 10 of Cy Young voting for the last two years. Dellin Betances in the pen has been absent from play with an injury himself so a late trade for a reliever would not have been surprising. After the deadline and no addition of a reliever in sight this could mean a return in the near future. This team has an eight-game lead on the division with the second best record in baseball (by less than .001 to the Dodgers) so the Yankees are still in great position. Still, Cashman was quiet and the Yankee fans are even quieter at the conclusion of the 2019 trade deadline that saw the cross state rival snag a starter as well as and American League contender in the Astros which will make for an interesting late season stretch and into the playoffs.