Yankees Have Two Top Pitchers As Trade Targets, inc. Former Cy Young Winner

The New York Yankees were stymied in their attempts to land top free agent starter Yoshinobu Yamamoto, now they’re heading to the trade market to try to add a significant arm to their rotation.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees are interested in trying to swing a deal for either Miami Marlins left-hander Jesus Luzardo, or the Cleveland Guardians' former Cy Young winner, Shane Bieber.

Luzardo, who had a breakthrough year for the Fish in 2023 with a 3.63 ERA and over 200 strikeouts, will undoubtedly come at a very high price. The Marlins will already be forced to play the 2024 season without their ace, former Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year. In addition, another of their top young starters, Eury Pérez, will likely be on an innings limit.

Bieber has been on the trade block since last season, as he’s heading into his final year of team control, which is expected to land him an arbitration number of over $12 million. The Guardians know they will not be able to afford him. This seems like a more tenable trade target for the Bronx Bombers, even though Bieber is coming off his worst season since his rookie year in 2018. He posted a 3.80 ERA in '23 and his velocity once again dipped this past season.

However, as noted by Brendan Kuty in The Athletic, Bieber reached his zenith back in Cleveland under current Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake, lending even more credence to the Pinstripers' interest in Bieber. As for Cleveland’s end of any potential deal, Kuty believes that a package centered around prospect Everson Pereira could get a deal done.

In addition, one day after reporting that the Yankees had turned away free agent Marcus Stroman’s bid to join them, Nightengale has now changed his tune and is reporting that there is, in fact, mutual interest.

The Yankees rotation needs another notable, veteran arm to join Gerritt Cole, the oft-injured Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes. 

Photo: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports