New York Yankees: Potential trade deadline targets

Yankees

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are in the midst of completing one of the quickest rebuilds in recent memory. With a surprising start to the season, general manager Brian Cashman may look to add some weapons at the trade deadline.

From a joke a year ago to one of baseball’s best teams this season, the New York Yankees have surprised everyone in the game.

Seemingly everything has gone right for the ball club. The youth has certainly taken over, as Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino look like cornerstones. Veterans have stepped up, and somehow Aaron Hicks looks like an All-Star.

However, if one thing can be fixed, it’d be best to take a look at the rotation. Coming into the season, it was assumed that the rotation would be this team’s biggest weakness.

To this point, though, the bunch has held its own, with a combined 3.80 ERA that ranks as the eighth best in baseball. Opponents are hitting just .234 against New York starters, too.

While this is good, adding another arm will almost definitely be a point of emphasis come the trade deadline. Masahiro Tanaka has looked shaky for most of the season, and CC Sabathia has been a coin-flip every time he takes the mound.

Let’s take a look at a few potential arms that could be packing their bags for the Bronx.

Yankees

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Gerrit Cole

Originally drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2008 draft, Gerrit Cole opted to go to college. He wound up being drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 out of UCLA. Yankees GM Brian Cashman would surely love to have one of his draft picks return to the team.

As the ace of the Pirates, Cole has enjoyed a great deal of success through his five-year tenure with the team. A career 3.20 ERA and his ability to limit the long ball (43 given up) are something the Yankees would take gladly.

The Pirates look like they could be entering a rebuild sooner than later, and dealing Cole would help jump-start that. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports spoke about how the Yankees could have interest in Cole.

The Yankees have always loved him so they’d make sense. New York drafted him out of high school as a late first rounder, but Cole’s father told them then that there was no offer that could keep him away from UCLA.

If the Yankees were to deal for Cole, it’d cost a pretty penny. It’s safe to say top prospect Gleyber Torres is off limits, but everyone else seems like fair game, especially if the Yankees go all-in.

With an abundance of outfield prospects, the Yankees could hold the cards with who’d they like to deal.

Yankees get RHP Gerrit Cole

Pirates get OF Clint Frazier, RHP Chance Adams, RHP Albert Abreu
Yankees

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Sonny Gray

Will this be the year the Oakland Athletics finally trade Sonny Gray? He has been on the block for a while now, but the A’s were smart not to trade him after a down year in 2016.

With a 3.97 ERA this season, Gray still hasn’t returned to his ace form from two years ago, but he’s still just a 27-year-old.

There’s certainly enough reason to believe he can come back to being the ace he was for the first three years of his career, and the Yankees would love to have him, as they’ve shown interest in him before.

Gray wouldn’t immediately become the Yankees’ No. 2 starter. He would probably shift CC Sabathia out of the rotation and become the No. 3, assuming Sabathia continues to struggle.

If the A’s deal Gray at the deadline, they’d still be selling fairly low. The Yankees would pounce at this opportunity to nab one of the game’s best young starters, despite the numbers from last season.

Yankees get RHP Sonny Gray

Athletics get OF Dustin Fowler, 2B/SS Tyler Wade, RHP Dillon Tate
Yankees

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana

A name that has been through the rumor mill forever now, Jose Quintana might finally find a new home this summer.

What’s there not to love about Quintana? He is still just a 28-year-old, doesn’t hit free agency until 2019 and he’s got elite stuff.

He finished last season with a 3.20 ERA, an All-Star appearance and a top-10 finish in Cy Young voting. His ERA this year is at 4.38, so could Chicago’s asking price be lowered?

In all likelihood, general manager Rick Hahn will be set on the prospects he wants. When you take a look back at the ridiculous hauls he got for Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, nothing should be surprising.

It will be fascinating to see if the Yankees actually live up to the White Sox’s high price for Quintana. Many will argue that now is the time for New York to use their prospects for what they have needed for a long time, a true left-handed weapon in the rotation.

Yankees get LHP Jose Quintana

Whitesox get OF Clint Frazier, RHP Chance Adams, 2B/SS Jorge Mateo, RHP Albert Abreu

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