Add the New York Yankees to the list of teams scouting Jonhny Cueto and Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees (along with the Detroit Tigers) had a scout at Cueto's last start in Chicago this past weekend, according to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.
The Yankees, according to George King of the New York Post, sent that same scout to watch Mike Leake as well. One potential issue for the Yankees would be the price tag associated with these rental players.
Any team talking to the Yankees would have to ask for right-hander Luis Severino and/or outfielder Aaron Judge, but it’s not likely the Yankees would part with their two top prospects for a rental.
However, the Reds have scouted the Yankees’ system and players such as outfielders Ramon Flores and Mason Williams and pitcher Bryan Mitchell might be attractive as part of a package.
Ivan Nova is close to a return for the Yankees rotation, which could force Adam Warren to the bullpen. That could limit their need to get a starter. Nova is coming off of Tommy John surgery and there are obviously concerns about him coming back at 100%.
That could force them to explore the trade market for a starter. Cueto, who is 4-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 12 starts this season, is viewed as the top of the line starter. His counterpart, Leake, is two years younger at 27 and is viewed more as a back end starter, and would cost less in terms of prospects.
With the trade deadline now only 45 days away, the Yankees will have to make a decision quickly as to who they want to target, if anybody, before the July 31st date hits. The longer they wait though, the more of a chance that these options get gobbled up by other teams needing pitching to help them get into the playoffs.