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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

MLB Trade Rumors: Yankees showing interest in Patrick Corbin and Michael Fulmer at the Winter Meetings


Despite acquiring Giancarlo Stanton, a move which makes the Yankees likely the most potent lineup in baseball, the Yankees aren’t finished making moves. Specifically, the Yankees want to compliment their deadly lineup by improving the rotation using the money they just cleared up in the Chase Headley deal earlier this morning which cleared up his $13 million salary and gives the Yankees more breathing room beneath the luxury tax. The two primary targets have been reported to be Michael Fulmer of the Tigers and Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
Photo Credit: USA Today
Michael Fulmer is currently 24 years old and is coming off an All-Star season in which he posted a 3.83 ERA with 114 K’s, which was preceded by a campaign in which he won AL ROY over the Yankees very own Gary Sanchez with a 3.06 ERA and 132 K’s. Fulmer isn’t set to be a free agent until 2023, meaning the Yankees would have him under team control for many years. This, in combination with his age and upside, makes him a very attractive option for the Yankees to pursue. Prying him away from the Tigers would likely take a few prospects, as the Tigers are looking to be heading in a rebuilding direction. The Yankees could offer up someone out of the outfield, as they have a surplus of talent in these three positions, especially after the trade for Giancarlo Stanton which leaves the Yankees with a logjam. If the Yankees pull the trigger on a deal for Fulmer, expect to see Clint Frazier likely be included with possibly one of the Yankees top pitching prospects such as Chance Adams or Albert Abreu added in to replace the loss of Fulmer for the rebuilding Tigers.


Patrick Corbin on the other hand is a 28 year old lefty who is coming off a season in which he put up a 4.03 ERA with 178 K’s in his 32 starts. Corbin has had one All-Star appearance in his five season career and has a career ERA of 4.12. As for his contract, Corbin is set to become a free agent in 2019, meaning he offers the Yankees a lot less team control than Fulmer does. Due to this, his older age, and his stats not being anything too special, he’s not as enticing of an option as the young Fulmer is. However, Corbin does offer strikeouts in high volume and can continuously pitch for groundouts and could fit into the Yankees rotation very well. A deal for Corbin could include prospects similarly to a Fulmer deal, but it wouldn’t cost as much to get Corbin due to the several factors listed above. Another idea, as thought of by Joel Sherman on the New York Post, could be to include Betances in this deal, and hold on to prospects as pieces for another trade down the line. This may be more enticing to a Diamondbacks team who just made the postseason and could see themselves as possible contenders who could use bullpen depth.
Photo Credit: AP

In addition to these two players, rumors are still swirling about the Yankees acquiring Gerrit Cole who would be a very welcome presence in the starting rotation. Besides these three, Joel Sherman named a few other pitchers the Yankees could look at acquiring for starting rotation depth if none of the deals for these top names come to fruition. These names include Jeff Samardzija of the Giants and Kendall Graveman or Sean Manaea of the Athletics. These pitchers would likely come cheap and could possibly be acquired in a deal including Clint Frazier most likely.

Article by: Connor Thoms

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