The Yankees are cruising along at 38-20 and 2 1/2 games up in the AL East. They know, though, that pitching wins ballgames in October, and you can never have too much pitching. With the deadline now having passed for having to give up draft-pick compensation for free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel, it's expected he signs somewhere quickly.
The Yankees could end up being that team that adds the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner.
"What I'm hearing is there are probably three, four, five teams that are interested in Keuchel. They are all in that one-year mix, probably in the same range," MLB.com reporter and author of "Mission 27" Mark Feinsand told WFAN's Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Tuesday. "I don't know the exact number. I'd guess they're probably throwing out $15 million or so ... prorated obviously for the season. I think he wants $18 million. He wants the number that he turned down in the qualifying offer, kind of helps save face. What I'm hearing from people is the Yankees is where he wants to go. I just find it hard to believe that if he wants to come here and they're interested that it won't get done one way or another.
"The Cardinals, the Twins, the Braves, you heard Tampa Bay mentioned a little bit. When you're talking about a one-year commitment, really a four-month commitment, even if he ends up signing for $18 million, that basically comes down to about $12 million. There's no team in baseball that can't do that. I think it's a matter of which teams step up and where he decides he wants to go where he thinks he could win, because he's going to be back on the free agent market next year if he signs a one-year deal. So going somewhere where he can pitch well, have a good team behind him and try and win certainly would help him raise that value for next year. So it would not surprise me if Dallas Keuchel winds up as a Yankee. And I have been told he has said he would shave his beard."
If the Yankees don't somehow end up signing Keuchel, they would have to look on the trade market. The big names that appear to be ones that could be on the block would be Max Scherzer and Madison Bumgarner.
"Scherzer you would have to pay a fortune in terms of prospect capital to get him. Bumgarner I've heard the Yankees have mixed feelings on him, certainly early in the season when he wasn't pitching well. The thought was he's a big name, but would he really be a big impact pitcher. I think he could have a Verlander impact in terms of a guy who is sort of languishing on a bad team, maybe a little bored and not into it, and you go to a contender and all of a sudden you get rejuvenated. Of course, he's a lot younger than Verlander was when he went to the Astros. In that aspect, you're going to have a lot of teams interested in Bumgarner.
"Keuchel, you just have to pay money. I think the Yankees like their rotation. I don't know that they can count on Severino coming back and being Severino and that's why you need to add a starter at some point here. You also can't count on Sabathia and Paxton to stay healthy for the next four months. There is a need for a starting pitcher and there's not a lot of depth at the triple-A level in the rotation right now."