Even their harshest of critics would agree that the New York Yankees’ 2019 MLB campaign so far has been an excellent one.
They lead the way at the top of the American League East, and it took a rousing performance from their city neighbors the Mets to bring an end to their five-game winning streak.
So all is well in the camp… but that won’t stop general manager Brian Cashman from looking to strengthen further prior to the trade window closing on July 31.
This is a critical juncture of the season. Underperformers can be shipped out, injuries can be covered and fresh blood can be brought into a roster ahead of the culmination of the regular campaign.
For the Yankees, finding an adequate replacement for Luis Severino could be the difference between maintaining their form into the playoffs and beyond and another season of disappointment – remember, it’s a decade now since they were crowned World Series champions.
Severino has missed all of the 2019 season with a catalogue of injuries, and attempts to up his rehab stalled recently when a training session was brought to an abrupt end when the pitcher complained of soreness in a muscle. It is expected he will be sidelined until August at the earliest.
It is that pitching department that is of most concern for Cashman, with rookie Stephen Tarpley called upon for the London series against the Red Sox, but it is unlikely he will be relied upon to guide the Yankees through the business end of the season.
And so the feelers have been sent out for a Long Island native doing great things elsewhere…
NYC’s Bright Lights Hard to Resist
Marcus Stroman has been highly impressive for the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League East campaign so far, and the right-hander is rumored to be high on Cashman’s list of desired trades this month.
He’s contributed 81 strikeouts and 32 walks to his team’s cause, and a move south to the Yankees appears to make sense for a man born in Medford.
A former World Baseball Classic MVP, Stroman is rather unique in the world of MLB in that he stands just 5ft 8in – making him just the sixth pitcher under 5ft 10in in height to appear in the competition this century.
It is that unique trajectory that makes him such a difficult pitcher to connect with, and that high strikeout rate is just one of the reasons he has been called up for duty for the MLB All Star game later in the season.
An already strong Yankees roster, boosted by the skills of an elite-level pitcher like Stroman, would take some stopping. They are already the favorites in the baseball odds with every sportsbook, and the capture of the Blue Jays man would surely see those prices shorten even further as we head into the meat of the MLB season. Houston Astros, the second most backed team, lost nine out of fourteen matches in the second half of June, including a 1-3 reverse at the hands of the Yankees.
If Cashman gets his man, it’s quite possible that the New York outfit will finally bring an end to their World Series drought.