The Yankees just two brutal games to the Red Sox, including a 5-4 defeat as Chad Green imploded at the worst time. While he’s still a phenomenal reliever, he’s at the 50 IP mark and we haven’t even entered August.
Lucas Luetge has also been taxed for 45 IP this season, so if the Yankees want to keep their relievers from getting shelled, they need to bring in more depth. Darren O’Day is out for the season, Justin Wilson is horrific, and a solid reliever could go a very long way for the Yankees, someone like Daniel Bard who’s pitching great for the Rockies.
We also know the Yankees need help in the rotation. They have Gerrit Cole who’s obviously a king, Jordan Montgomery’s posted a nice 3.96 ERA and 3.60 FIP, and an improving Jameson Taillon. It’s still a piece away from being able to fight for the division, and the Rockies have a rental starter who could help as well like veteran starter Jon Gray.
It seems that if the Yankees want to fix their pitching, the Rockies could have solutions for sale.
Fireballer For the Bullpen
Daniel Bard had a huge comeback in 2020. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since 2013, and in 2020 he burst onto the scene posting a 3.65 ERA (71 ERA-) and 3.90 SIERA out of the bullpen, throwing straight gas as well. He bumped his velocity to sit at 97 MPH, one of the hardest fastballs in the entire sport. It also has elite spin, generating well over 2,700 RPM, and while this season the pitch hasn’t been as great for him, he’s been phenomenal. An 85 ERA- and 3.59 SIERA alongside a 31.8% CSW% serve as statistical reasons to believe he’s one of the better relievers in baseball.
He’s 36 years old with another year on his contract, and with the Rockies well out of it, he could be a solid middle inning option for the Yankees, as he can absolutely mow down right-handed hitters, something that could take innings off of Green.
A reliever only helps bolster a strength for the Yankees, so what about the rotation?
Trying Out Another Gray
Jon Gray (no relation to former Yankee Sonny Gray) has been sneakily one of the better starters in the sport this season. While his 4.39 SIERA gives me a little of bit of concern, his 79 ERA- (29th out of 71 pitchers with 90 innings pitched) and 4.9% Barrel rate (8th out of 71) leads me to believe than Jon Gray could be an effective #3 starter. His 2020 was horrible to due injuries, but his 90 ERA- and 86 FIP- alongside a 3.92 SIERA from 2017-2019 lead me to believe that Jon Gray is a good pitcher who pitches in an impossible environment to pitch in.
He is a free agent after this season, so he shouldn’t cost too much prospect-wise, but what could a deal like this look like?
Piecing Together a Trade
So I think the needs for the Rockies aren’t as clear prospect-wise, which is good. They just need good prospects, and luckily for the Yankees, they have a ton of those. I could see a trade package looking like this:
Jon Gray SP
Daniel Bard RHP
Anthony Seigler C
Clint Frazier OF
Matt Sauer RHP
Reggie McClain RHP
The Yankees get two quality pieces and the Rockies get a solid catching prospect in Anthony Seigler, solid RHPs in Matt Sauer + Reggie McClain, and a project player in Clint Frazier, who no one was any idea about defensively, but has always been able to be a decent hitter before this 2021 season. The Yankees get pitching, the Rockies get young players, so I think both teams walk out of this deal happy, but what about the roster configuration?
A Beautiful Pitching Staff
The Yankees would have an absolutely stellar pitching staff, having easily the deepest bullpen in baseball, alongside a pretty solid rotation.
Michael King/Nestor Cortes Jr.
With Luis Severino’s return coming ever closer and Corey Kluber progressing, the Yankees could have a devastating rotation come October. The depth should prepare the team for injuries, COVID, or heavy workloads by giving Boone more high-leverage weapons.
Pitching depth is a luxury, and it can be had potentially easily if the Yankees pursue a package from the Rockies like this one.