The Seattle Mariners face nervous times with their starting rotation. With lingering injuries to key starters Taijuan Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma, the team might explore other ways to fill their rotation.
One such option could be New York Yankees right-handed pitcher David Phelps. As George A. King III of the New York Post writes:
Their search led them to George M. Steinbrenner Field Tuesday night to take a look at Yankees starter David Phelps against the Orioles.
The Mariners had a scout watch Phelps, who is the leading candidate to be the Yankees’ fifth starter but who could be expandable with Adam Warren or, possibly, Michael Pineda finding his way into that slot.”
At age 27, Phelps has two big league seasons under his belt. In 2013 he pitched in 22 games with 12 of them being starts. He went 6-5 with a 4.95 ERA.
Pineda, the Yankees’ half of the stink bomb that was the Pineda-for-Jesus-Montero trade with these same Mariners, potentially offers more upside if he shows that he is healthy. Such an emergence from him or Warren could displace Phelps, but it would still take an enticing offer from Seattle to lure him away.
Starting pitching is the currency of Major League Baseball, after all, and even if Phelps does not crack the rotation initially he would only be a couple injuries away from being a valuable member of the Yankees. As for the Mariners, it will be interesting to see how much urgency they display in coming weeks. Besides an expensive trade like the one discussed here, they could decide to be the team that finally pays Ervin Santana.
They will likely monitor the health of Iwakuma and Walker carefully before taking that kind of plunge, but this certainly makes them a team to watch between now and Opening Day.