The Yankees continue to scour the market for starting pitching help. If they want to swing a deal for Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer, it will cost them.
Manny Machado may be the name on the lips of most Yankee fans, but the team need to acquire starting pitching help more than anything. It’s very possible Tigers starter Michael Fulmer will be the best pitcher to move ahead of the trade deadline. If Brian Cashman wants to pull the trigger on a deal for the talented righty, it will cost him two valuable players.
Reports from New York claim the Tigers are particularly interested in outfielder Clint Frazier and infielder Tyler Wade. Both players have been shuttled back and forth between AAA and the majors this season. That doesn’t mean both aren’t intriguing young talents Cashman would like to keep around for the time being.
Frazier is the more attractive of the two prospects. He may only be hitting .265 at the major league level this season, but his bat projects to hit for above average and power as his career progresses. At the moment, his spot in the Yankee outfield is blocked by the likes of Brett Gardner, Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Ideally, the Yankees would like to keep Frazier around to take over left field once age starts to take its toll on Gardner. The club’s need for starting pitching help this season might prompt them to change those plans.
While the organization clearly likes Wade, including him in a trade is a much easier decision. He’s hitting better as of late, but his numbers on the season are still pretty ugly. A utility infielder hitting .156 isn’t what World Series dreams are made of. He does give the team speed and versatility, but he’s unlikely to grab a starting role anytime soon.
Ultimately, if the Tigers are willing to deal Fulmer for Frazier and Wade it’s a trade Cashman is likely going to make. It’s not a move he can sanction without significant heartache, but the ability to acquire a young, starting pitcher under team control offers too much upside for the Yankees. Fulmer is the type of arm who can help the team immediately and years into the future.