Sources: To get Mike Clevinger or Lance Lynn, Yankees would have had to part with two top players

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Andy Martino
·2 min read
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Mike Clevinger
Mike Clevinger

The Yankees wanted to add a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, but if we have learned anything about Brian Cashman in recent years, it’s that he has come to value depth and years of team control over the temporary sugar rush of a midsummer splash.

Yankee fans can consider the lack of July -- or in this case August -- excitement the price of having the players internally to cover for what has become an annual horror show of injuries.

This year might have seen the highest deadline prices yet. According to league sources, the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians were asking for two of Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt for Lance Lynn and Mike Clevinger, respectively.

Lynn ultimately stayed in Texas, where the Rangers saw value in keeping him and trying to compete next year. Cleveland traded Clevinger, outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named later to San Diego for six players: righty Cal Quantrill, outfielder Josh Naylor and catcher Austin Hedges and prospects Gabriel Arias, Joey Cantillo and Owen Miller.

It was what rival evaluators generally regarded as a “volume deal,” meaning that the Indians did well in receiving depth, some of it high-end. But there is no player in that package as valuable as a Frazier, Garcia and Schmidt.

For the Yankees to get Clevinger or Lynn, the price did not fall from those heavy asks. With so many injuries to the outfield and pitching staff, the Yankees couldn’t afford to part with Frazier and Garcia in particular. Cashman has been reluctant before to trade both of those players, but that was when they were prospects and their main appeal was upside and team control.

Now, the 2020 Yankees need Frazier’s bat and probably Garcia’s arm. In his major league debut against the Mets Sunday, Garcia showed poise. While his fastball was not overpowering -- and never will be, at 92 miles per hour -- he has deception and movement on his pitches that reminded one scout of a young Marcus Stroman. That scout thinks that Garcia is already good enough to be a third or fourth starter.

With Garcia likely to start again later this week, Schmidt becomes the next pitcher needed to help in a crisis.

And if there's one thing we’ve learned about the Yankees over the past two years, there is always an injury crisis around the corner. For the team to succeed despite those issues, they need players like Frazier, Garcia and Schmidt in the system - even if the result is a significantly less inspiring trade deadline than Yankees fans are conditioned to expect.