As we near the halfway mark of the 2020 season, the Yankees find themselves in a pretty decent spot. The team is currently 16-9 with a fairly prolific offense despite the losses, for various lengths of time, of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, and Gleyber Torres. Assuming most of those guys get back on the field relatively soon, New York should continue to boast one of the more dangerous lineups in the entire league.
However, one area that seems to be an obvious place for improvement is in the rotation. Gerrit Cole is great and Masahiro Tanaka has performed okay, but with Luis Severino and James Paxton out, the Yankees’ already middling rotation took a hit and join the large swath of teams who are going to be looking for starting pitching help at the trade deadline.
It sounds like we already know one of the Yankees’ targets over the next week.
Source: #Yankees have inquired on #Mariners RHP Taijuan Walker as the @MLB Trade Deadline approaches. Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. There have been 8 trades between the teams in the last 5 years. Story: https://t.co/VL5zbYp5wq @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) August 25, 2020
It isn’t surprising that the Yankees would try to match up with Seattle as the two teams have done frequent business together recently. Combine that with Seattle’s 11-19 record and their GM’s compulsive desire to make trades and there is already a pretty decent framework for a deal to get done. What matters here is what Seattle is expecting in return. While Walker is in the last year of his deal with the Mariners and we are only talking about a month or two including the playoffs of games left, the starting pitching market is going to be an active one, so we could see a bidding war for the available SPs that goes down to the wire.
In five starts this season, Walker has posted a 4.00 ERA with 25 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched.