The Yankees and Mets have held trade conversations.
But that’s nothing out of the ordinary, says Brian Cashman.
While speaking at an event in Manhattan on Thursday, the Yankees’ general manager told Neil Best of Newsday that he recently spoke to the Mets’ executives, solely as due diligence on his end.
“I’ve been engaged with all clubs, including the Mets,” Cashman said. “It’s the job, and if you can, you match up your ownership recommendations on both ends and see if it takes you anywhere. I have been talking with Sandy [Alderson]. I’ve also been talking with [special assistant] Omar Minaya.
“I texted with Sandy yesterday given what was going on [with his cancer recurrence] and obviously everybody is wishing him a speedy recovery and good health moving forward. I’m sorry to see what he’s going through and praying for a quick recovery because he’s a good man and a good baseball man and obviously good at what he does.
“But I’ll stay engaged with the Mets along with every other club and see where it takes us. I don’t think I’ll have any dialogue with the Boston Red Sox. I’ll take them off the call list. But other than that we’ll be very busy trying to improve ourselves.”
It’s no secret that the Yankees are in the midst of searching for a starting pitcher to acquire at the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline.
At the moment, the team is without two of their Opening Day rotation arms —Jordan Montgomeryunderwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in early June andMasahiro Tanakais still rehabbing two strained hamstrings — and although they have one of the best records in baseball, starting pitching has been their biggest deficiency. Rookie right-handers Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga have received starts in June.
According to multiple reports, the Mets’ baseball operations staff — which now consists of Minaya, John Ricco, and J.P. Ricciardi due to Alderson’s indefinite leave of absence — will entertain offers for deGrom and Syndergaard, even though their inclination to part ways with them remains unclear. Regardless, the Mets will likely make trades to some degree this summer, as the club has won just five of its last 24 games (32-46 record overall).
Business conducted between the crosstown rivals is a rare occurrence — it’s only happened 15 times since 1966. But that doesn’t mean it’s off-limits or taboo to the Steinbrenners and Wilpons, according to former Mets’ general manager and current MLB Network Radio host Steve Phillips.
“I never had any edict of not making a trade with the Yankees. I actually did it,” Phillips recently told Bronx Pinstripes. “I never was hesitant to trade within the division or within the town. It didn’t bother me at all to do that.
“The deals that are the best are the ones that are win-win trades, anyway, because it helps you have willing trade partners in the future as well. Brian Cashman was never reluctant to do it in the conversations that I had with him.”
On Thursday, the Yankees revealed one name that appears on their wish list. According toGeorge King of the New York Post, the team sent scout Jay Darnell to watch Detroit Tigers’ right-hander Michael Fulmerpitch against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday at Comerica Park.
For a Fulmer, deGrom, or Syndergaard, the price would be pretty steep. Since these three pitchers are affordable and non-rentals, the Yankees would likely be forced to yield a top prospect package. Touted youngsters like Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams, Estevan Florial, and Albert Abreu are potential trade pieces in this discussion.
“It’s very difficult to pick up an impact starter no matter what,” Cashman told Newsday. “But the job is to try to improve the club, so no question about it, I think pitching is the area of focus. The main focus would be the rotation, and if not you fall back maybe and see if you can improve the pen.”