Yanks will target starter as trade deadline nears, owner says

With Jordan Montgomery out for the season and Masahiro Tanaka now ailing, the first-place New York Yankees will look to upgrade their rotation in the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, according to principal owner Hal Steinbrenner.

"I think there's definitely a need," Steinbrenner told reporters, including Ken Davidoff of the New York Post, on Wednesday. "It's definitely one of the areas we're going to be looking at. And we've got some flexibility payroll-wise, as you know. The question is, what's going to be available and what are the asks?"

If the Yankees limit their potential targets to impending free agents, the most attractive options would likely be Toronto Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, San Diego Padres right-hander Tyson Ross, Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels, and Oakland A's right-hander Trevor Cahill. Should they broaden their scope, however, the Yankees could go after the likes of Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer or Dylan Bundy of the Baltimore Orioles, both of whom remain under team control well beyond 2018.

Player WAR ERA FIP WHIP Under control through
Happ 1.8 3.71 3.42 1.08 2018
Ross 1.2 3.43 3.47 1.24 2018
Hamels 0.0 3.86 5.37 1.24 2018
Cahill 1.1 2.77 3.04 0.99 2018
Archer* 1.1 4.24 3.78 1.34 2021**
Bundy 1.0 3.66 4.32 1.20 2021

*Currently on 10-day DL (retroactive to June 3) with abdominal strain
**Has team options for 2020 ($9M) and 2021 ($11M)

At the moment, the Yankees have rookie Domingo German filling in for Montgomery, who underwent Tommy John surgery last week, while 23-year-old Jonathan Loaisiga - who has just six starts above High-A - will make his MLB debut Friday when he starts in Tanaka's stead. Should either falter, the Yankees have several compelling internal options available to replace them, Steinbrenner said, but the club will still continue to pursue upgrades from outside the organization in the coming weeks.

"We've got (Justus) Sheffield, Chance Adams, the kid (Erik) Swanson that we got in the Texas trade that we just brought up to Triple-A. He was unbelievable at (Double-A) Trenton, so we've got some options for August and September. But again, we're going to look at anything that comes across our desk."

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