AL Powerhouse: New York Yankees
A potential destination for the ace of the Texas Rangers is with the New York Yankees, a club with whom he’s already had one stint in his career. The Yankees are one of the favorites within the American League to make the World Series and are fully in win-now mode. With the offseason addition of Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole, the Yankees rotation got a true frontline starter. However injuries and inconsistency plague much of the remainder of the rotation.
James Paxton has just hit the IL with a forearm injury that will prevent him from throwing for two weeks. Beyond Paxton and Cole, the Yankees have relied on Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and Jordan Montgomery none of which have inspired an overwhelming sense of confidence. The Yankees are in need of starting pitching to pair with Cole not just for the regular season but also a playoff run. Lance Lynn would be a stellar complementary piece to Cole and would arguably give New York the best one-two starter combo in the AL.
New York is also up against it financially with big money tied to Gerrit Cole and star player Aaron Judge nearing time for a contract extension. That limits some of their financial flexibility making Lance Lynn’s $5 million adjusted salary this season and $9.33 next year a needed bargain.
While the Yankees do have talented young players that will keep them at the top of contention for awhile, some long-term decisions sit on the horizon for the Bronx Bombers. Giancarlo Stanton can opt out after this season and D.J. LeMahieu is a UFA this offseason. That means the Yankees might have to look at ways to reload before next year giving a little added incentive to making a deep run this season. Lance Lynn would drastically improve their rotation and make them heavy favorites to make a World Series run.
For the Rangers side of things, the Yankees have a number of players that would be interesting options in a potential deal. Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar would no doubt be at the top of many fans’ wishlist as two big league caliber players who are starved for playing time in New York. Andujar was just optioned for the second time this season only two years removed from his 2018 campaign where he was the runner-up to the AL Rookie of the Year award. Meanwhile, Frazier has performed since his recent promotion, but long-term looks like a tough fit for New York. Others of interest for Texas would be certainly be top pitching prospect Clarke Schmidt as well as one of their multiple catching prospects. However whether New York would be able to part with a prospect of Schmidt’s caliber remains to be seen.