Could we have a second consecutive summer where Brian Cashman swings a reunion trade?
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reported yesterday that the Yankees were one of many teams in attendance scouting right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, who dominated the Mets through seven innings of one-hit ball. The 28-year-old racked up nine strikeouts without a walk.
Of course, Eovaldi had shown flashes of that talent in his 51 games in pinstripes. He went 23-11 with a 4.45 ERA in that time, but the results never seemed to match his stuff. Disaster struck in August 2016, when it was revealed that Eovaldi had a torn flexor tendon and partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.The Rays signed him as a reclamation project, giving him a one-year deal worth $2 million that also had a matching club option for $2 million. He rehabbed throughout 2017, and returned to pitch six no-hit innings in his return from the 60-day disabled list in 2018.
Eovaldi is a rental starter who could be had for much cheaper then someone under years of control. The Yankees have been known to target young starters who are cost controlled so that they can spend big money elsewhere. That would not be the case here but an acquisition of Eovaldi would be akin to the Jaime García trade of 2017. That trade was intended to add depth so that the younger pitchers on the staff could limit their innings.
On the J.A. Happ front, it seems the Yankees’ bludgeoning of the veteran lefty has led to a dispute between the Blue Jays and Yankees about his value. Buster Olney of ESPN reports the teams are having “continued conversations” about Happ, but they are “haggling over the price tag”.
Olney thinks the best course of action for the Yankees is to wait out the Blue Jays and the rest of the trade market to see if any better starting pitchers become available. I agree with Buster here, since Happ really doesn’t seem like the type of arm to be a difference-maker in a playoff series.
Now, I could understand this kind of trade if it would be a García-like maneuver. But Happ can’t be the guy they put all their trust in to deliver in the postseason.