MLB trade rumors: Yankees have reached out to Mariners, Indians about Paxton, Kluber, Carrasco
Expect a rotation makeover for the Yankees this offseason
General manager Brian Cashman is expected to pursue lefty Patrick Corbin on the free-agent market, and re-upping with J.A. Happ is also possible. As well, the Yankees may turn to the trade market to get the rotation in World Series shape.
Obviously, any of James Paxton, Corey Kluber or Carlos Carrasco would be big for the Yankees, especially in a rotation that already includes Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. Cashman has already said that he's looking to trade right-hander Sonny Gray, so perhaps Gray could be included in any deal for one of the above names (obviously without being the centerpiece of any such trade).
Paxton, who just recently turned 30, is coming off a 2018 season in which he pitched to a 3.76 ERA/108 ERA+ and 4.95 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. Paxton has excellent stuff and a career ERA+ of 117, but occasional arm troubles are also part of his story. He's not eligible for free agency until after the 2020 season.
Kluber, obviously, would be the prize, assuming the Indians are willing to part with their core veterans, . The right-handed ace is going into his age-33 campaign. In 2018, he registered a 151 ERA+ and a 6.53 K/BB ratio in an AL-leading 215 innings. Really, Kluber's pitched at a Cy Young level for the last half-decade. He's under contract through the next three seasons, assuming his two team options are exercised. If Kluber is indeed shopped, then the Yankees would no doubt have plenty of competitors for his services.
The same goes for the underrated Carrasco, who's going into his age-32 season. While he's dealt with occasional injuries, Carrasco over the last five seasons owns an ERA+ of 133 and a K/BB 4.94 in 159 games, 131 of which have been starts. He's going into his walk year.
Landing any of the three will require the Yankees to part with young, controllable talent with upside. They have plenty of that, but the cost would likely be felt in the long-term. That said, adding an ace like Kluber, a No. 2 like Carrasco or a No. 3 like Paxton to a 100-win roster would put the Yankees in fine position for 2019.
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