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Yankees Trade Rumors: Latest on Chris Archer and More Pre-Deadline Buzz

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG, FL  JULY 22: Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field on July 22, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

The 2018 MLB trade deadline is right around the corner, and while it's already been a busy month of July with many of the market's top trade chips finding new homes, there's still time for contenders to add another piece to the puzzle.

Among those contenders still shopping around are the New York Yankees.

Starter J.A. Happ (via Toronto) and reliever Zach Britton (via Baltimore) have already been added to the pitching staff, while they also struck an under-the-radar deal to acquire slugger Luke Voit (via St. Louis) as a potential DH option while Aaron Judge recovers from his wrist injury.

So what's left to do before the non-waiver deadline passes on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET?

Ahead is a look at the latest trade rumblings surrounding the Yankees.

        

Pursuing Chris Archer?

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- JULY 14: Chris Archer #22 of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches against the Minnesota Twins on July 14, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 19-6. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

While they've already added Happ to the starting rotation, it's not out of the question to think the front office could still be searching for more starting pitching help as that remains the biggest potential roadblock in the team's search for a World Series title.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic mentioned the Yankees among the teams in pursuit of Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Rays had two scouts on hand to watch top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield's most recent start.

Sherman went on to acknowledge that swinging a deal for Archer "is a long shot," but it's not completely out of the realm of possibility.

The 29-year-old has not pitched at a top-tier level the past few seasons, but he still has strong overall numbers, posting a 4.31 ERA and 1.39 WHIP with 102 strikeouts in 96 innings.

In 10 career starts at Yankee Stadium, he sports a 3.44 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.

What makes Archer such a hot commodity, aside from his strong strikeout rate and past excellence, is his team-friendly contract and remaining control.

He's set to earn $7,666,667 next season, with extremely reasonable team options for 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million).

The Yankees would almost certainly be forced to part with one or both of Sheffield and tools outfield prospect Estevan Florial, along with several other promising young pieces from the farm.

Archer could truly be the missing piece, though.

       

Open to Adding a Catcher

Devin Mesoraco
Devin MesoracoAl Bello/Getty Images

Young catcher Gary Sanchez is expected to be sidelined until at least late August after aggravating a previously suffered right groin strain.

While general manager Brian Cashman told reporters that the team is "comfortable" with the current tandem of Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka, he didn't rule out the potential for an outside addition:

"We'll certainly look at all those aspects, but seeing how other clubs have had to deal with that over the course of this season as well, I already recognize it's a very thin position. It's not easy to solve if there are issues there. … Thankfully, what Gary has is a solvable health issue. It's just a timing one. We'll just have to wait on it. Hopefully, we'll be in a better position when he returns."

Tampa Bay Rays All-Star Wilson Ramos is the top name on the catching market, but he too is sidelined with a hamstring injury.

Devin Mesoraco (Mets) and A.J. Ellis (Padres) would be lower-level rental options.

     

Exploring Outfield Options

Cameron Maybin
Cameron MaybinMike Carlson/Associated Press

With Judge sidelined, the Yankees have moved Giancarlo Stanton into the everyday right field role, with Neil Walker set to see an uptick in playing time at DH. The aforementioned Voit could also be a factor in the DH role, though he remains in Triple-A for the time being.

Despite those in-house options, the Yankees are reportedly still taking inventory of the outfield market, according to Sherman.

"We haven't peeled the onion enough to tell you exactly what we will do," Cashman told Sherman. "If something presents itself that allows us flexibility and makes sense, we can evaluate that."

Sherman added: "The subtraction of the righty bat is why the Yankees may be more leaning toward someone such as Miami's Cameron Maybin or Baltimore's Danny Valencia as a stopgap rather than Toronto's lefty-swinging Curtis Granderson."

Those are just two speculative names, but it provides an idea of the level of addition they're seeking.

     

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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