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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Creating a Yankees' trade package: Marcus Stroman

Last year Cashman acquired Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, David Robertson, Tommy Khanle, and Todd Frazier before the July 31st deadline, which helped drive the Bombers to game seven of the ALCS, but they gave up some of their better prospect in the process. The team has its sights set on a championship, so GM Brian Cashman will undoubtedly upgrade the starting pitching at the deadline, but who and for what?

ESPN


The Yankees currently hold the second-best winning percentage in the league at .667 with an offense that is on pace to shatter the Mariners single-season home run record. While the team seems almost unbeatable, there are some big chinks in the armor, specifically in the rotation. The Yankees lost Jordan Montgomery to Tommy John surgery last week, and Masahiro Tanaka is still out with two damaged hamstrings. Luis Severino is a strong candidate for the CY Young award, and CC Sabathia is still fighting off father time, but Sonny Gray is still unreliable. 

The tricky part on predicting who will be available for the Yankees come July is predicting which teams will throw in the towel. The shortlist of possible available pitchers are as follows:


Player
Hand
Team
Record as
of 7/11/2018
L
San Francisco Giants
49-46
L
Texas Rangers
40-54
Chris Archer
R
Tampa Bay Rays
48-44
Blake Snell
L
Tampa Bay Rays
48-44
Francisco Liriano
L
Detroit Tigers
40-55
R
Detroit Tigers
40-55
L
San Diego Padres
40-55
Marcus Stroman
R
Toronto Blue Jays
42-49
L
Toronto Blue Jays
42-49
R
New York Mets
37-53
R
New York Mets
37-53

In this series of articles, we will look into various trade possibilities for the Yankees before the July 31st deadline.

Note: It is incredibly difficult to predict these trades exactly, as preferences of both teams involved are mostly unknown, so guessing prospects traded is not an exact science. What these articles provide is an entertaining exercise to get to know some possible trade targets and pieces. Enjoy!

The Bronx Bomber Ball team ran a twitter poll at the end of July of what player you wanted to see next, and here he is! Marcus Stroman is a New York native, specifically in Medford, but has spent his pro career in the great white north that is Canada.

Getty Images

Stroman is having his worst year as a professional, sporting a 6.20 ERA and a 1-5 record with career highs in hits, home runs, walks, and strikeout/walk ratio, but it's not all bad. In his first five starts, the righty had a whopping 8.88 ERA, barely averaged five innings per outing and was terrible overall. However, in his next four starts, he has a 3.38 ERA with a 4.0 strikeouts/walk ratio, nearly three times higher than his previous five starts, and dropped his opponent OPS by .138. This significant improvement should perk the interest of the Yankees front office, possibly enough for a low buy type of deal from their division rivals.

The 5’8” starter has two more years of arbitration after 2018, and is only 27-years old, making him a perfect fit for the Yankees long-term plans. Young Stroman may not have been a Bomber faithful, but his tweets in the past year make it seem like he is a fan of the Yankee sluggers.


What would it take to bring Stroman back home? Stroman’s May DL stint should be a red flag for teams as he saw a dip in velocity and a rise in hard contact, but his total body of work and recent upward trends should be enough to keep teams interested. The Blue Jays may not want to part with their young starter just yet, as they are already expecting to lose JA Happ and Marco Estrada either through trade or free agency. However, if they do put him on the market, it may not be for a top flight package due to his injury history and 2018 performance.

The Trade: Toronto Blue Jays send RHP Marcus Stroman to the New York Yankees for RHP Chance Adams, RHP Erik Swanson


USA Today Sports

The Blue Jays have plenty of sluggers in the farm system, Headlined by Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, but could use to add a few more pitchers. Adams and Swanson show plenty of promise in the minors, but as our writer, Andrew Natalizio detailed here, the Yankees have 22 pitching prospects in their top 30, and they can’t keep all of them. The Yankees are a prime candidate for poaching in the Rule 5 draft, and Cashman has shown that he is willing to part with highly rated prospects to get something rather than nothing.


NYDN

Adams was a mainstay as the Yankees top pitching prospect behind Jordan Montgomery for the past couple of years, but players like Justus Sheffield and Albert Abreu have passed the righty in recent months, making Adams expendable. Swanson is another one with the same issue as Adams, a talented pitcher who is no lock to be protected by the club this offseason, so Cashman would likely wish to part with them for a controllable piece like Stroman instead of losing them to other teams.

NJ.com

Toronto and Stroman had a rocky arbitration hearing, so there is likely some bad blood between the two parties, and maybe the club realizes Stroman would like to leave in free agency when it is time no matter what. If they do come to this realization, they may choose to part with their righty sooner rather than later. The Blue Jays may lose two to three starting pitchers to trade this year, but gaining MLB ready prospects like Adams and Swanson will help rebuild and reload their rotation in the short and long term.

The former Duke graduate is a fierce competitor who would become a fan favorite quickly if this deal happened. If Stroman did return to his previous form, the Yankees would gain a young, controllable pitcher with postseason experience who can be a workhorse in the middle of their rotation for at least the next few years.

Stay tuned for more trade possibilities, up next with Royals slugger, Mike Moustakas

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