Well last’s night game was fun. The Yankees haven’t won many 1-0 games in the last few years. The reason for that is, it’s been a very long time since they’ve had a starting pitcher be able to dominate for most of the game the way Cole did. Vintage CC was probably the last time I felt this confident with a starter on the mound. This brings us to today’s topic.
The Yankee rotation is nice right now. But “nice” often doesn’t win you a World Series. Aces do. The Yankees should target Max Scherzer in a trade this summer at all costs.
The time is now
I know this is a scary thought, but the championship window for this particular group is closing. Judge is getting older, and may depart via free agency. Gary Sanchez may have lost his starting job. Stanton is 31. Over the next five years, this team is going to look very different, especially when Jasson Dominguez is ready. The time to “go for it” is right the hell now. Ownership needs to show us some urgency and trade for Max Scherzer this summer. I applaud them for signing Gerrit Cole. He was their target and they signed him. However, having another Gerrit Cole would win us the world series. Anyone not named Jasson Dominguez should be on the table in trade talks.
He’s still elite
Mad Max will turn 37 this July, and while that’s a ripe pitching age, he is still elite. So far this season he has a 11.85 K/9, 1.36 BB/9, and owns a 2.33 ERA. His average fastball velocity hasn’t really fallen off yet either. This year it stands at 94mph, and his career average is 94.3mph. Age will catch up to him eventually, but since he would only be a summer rental, the Yankees wouldn’t need to worry about father time here. Below is the starting pitcher WAR leaderboard since 2018. Yeah, gimmie.
What would it take?
Rentals haven’t really gotten a huge return in recent years, but I think this situation is a bit different. This isn’t Justin Verlander to the Astros in a salary dump. Remember, Verlander was pitching pretty poorly with the Tigers when he was traded. This is a legitimate Cy Young contender that would be a difference maker. I think the Nationals would be ill advised to give him away for anything less than a top 50 prospect, or an above average MLB ready arm. Would trading Deivi Garcia for him be too much? How about Clarke Schmidt? Before you say “trade Tyler Wade for him” remember this: if it doesn’t hurt you to do it, the other team isn’t going to be interested. If it gets us a World Series, I am fine with nearly anything.