The MLB Trade Deadline is one week from Monday on August 31 and the rumors are starting to heat up regarding the Cleveland Indians.
According to SNY, the Indians and New York Yankees have “been in touch” and the report states that the Yankees are looking for pitching.
This would make sense considering the Indians have a ton of depth in starting pitching and would be wise to at least listen to calls from other teams especially for Mike Clevinger and Zach Plesac who are still in Eastlake at the alternate training site after violating health and safety rules a few weeks ago.
The Athletic reported that the Indians would be more likely to move Clevinger because he’s nearing arbitration this offseason and the way they operate the organization would like to keep Plesac who is younger and still a few years away from arbitration.
Now when looking at potential trade packages between the two sides, it would be apparent that the Indians would want guys with multiple years of control which has been their main objective when dealing some of their high profile players over the last several years.
Cleveland also needs some help in the outfield as well as at the plate and the Yankees have two guys on the big league roster that could be enticing and both would be under team control through the 2024 season.
Mike Tauchman, the 29-year-old left fielder who is currently hitting .333 with ten runs scored, seven runs batted in and five stolen bases in 57 plate appearances this season.
Clint Frazier, the Indians former first-round pick who New York acquired in the Andrew Miller trade in 2016. He’s hitting .333 with two home runs with eight runs batted in 30 plate appearances this season.
Another possible option is Miguel Andujar who was linked to the Indians in Corey Kluber trade rumors a few seasons ago and is stuck behind former Indians third baseman Gio Urshela currently.
Andujar has been limited to 20 games over the last two seasons because of injuries and playing time but his rookie campaign in 2018 can’t be overlooked as he hit .297 with 27 home runs with 92 runs batted in while finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting.
If I’m Cleveland, I’d also be asking for a top prospect as well and when you look at the Yankees top prospects, it’s deep in pitching with eight of their top 15 prospects being a pitcher and all are right-handers.
All eyes would be on Deivi Garcia, their second best pitching prospect. In 2019 he struggled with a 4.28 ERA across three levels of the organization but Garcia punched out 165 batters in 111.1 innings. His scouting report does mention his walk rate jumped from 2.4 per nine innings to 4.4 from 2018 to 2019 but with the Indians track record with pitching over the last few years, his efficiency could be corrected with solid coaching and development.
Another name that is intriguing is Luis Medina, the Yankees 11th overall prospect. The 21-year-old throws a fastball that reaches 102 mph and a curveball that MLB’s scouting report says can be more dangerous than his fastball.
The knock on Medina though his inability to consistently throw strikes. His 144 walks in 183 innings over his first four professional seasons is definitely raises eyebrows. He’s still a year or two away from contributing at the major league level but the talent is there.
It’s unclear if Cleveland and New York will pull off a trade but the pieces are definitely there to execute a deal if the two sides want to make it happen.