With the trade deadline approaching, the New York Yankees and Brian Cashman are kicking the tires on Baltimore’s Kevin Gausman.
The anxiety is becoming more and more real as to what starting pitcher the New York Yankees will acquire come July 31. According to a report from Roch Kubatko of MASN, the Yankees are checking in on Orioles starter Kevin Gausman.
Surprisingly enough, Britton isn’t the only Baltimore pitcher receiving interest around the league.
Amongst other teams, the Yankees have expressed deepened interest in the right-handed starter. You can now add his name to the carousel of potential starting pitching options including J.A. Happ, Tyson Ross, Cole Hamels, Michael Fulmer, and Chris Archer.
Brian Cashman and the rest of the front office have clearly been doing there due diligence behind the scenes but with the starting pitching market as weak as it is, it has made their decisions that much more difficult. Aside from Happ, Fulmer, and Ross being considered half-year rentals, the rest of the possible options provide a little more security than the rest.
Gausman is an interesting name, though. His 4-7 record should not be a deterrent on his performance considering he’s on the 28-72 (.280) Baltimore Orioles. Put it this way, he has 1/7th of the Orioles wins — which says a lot. He owns a 4.33 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 112.1 innings pitched this season. Overall he hasn’t been anything to write home about. But he’s just another name to add to the revolving door of starting pitchers on the trade market.
The main issue with Gausman has always been his ERA. Since entering the league in 2013 he owns a 4.20 ERA — which in comparison to the rest of the league puts him below the average of most starters. There are, however, a couple of bright spots in regards to Kevin Gausman.
In the first half, Gausman had 10 quality starts in 19 outings. Pitching for a lowly team such as Baltimore makes it even more impressive.
The question of whether O's trade Kevin Gausman probably will come down to whether another team views the RHer the same as Baltimore does — as a front-end of the rotation type of starter — and is willing to pay those prices. He's got 4+ plus years of service time, FA after 2020
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 22, 2018
Aside from his just above average first half, Gausman is known for having stronger second halves. Last season, going into the All-Star break, he had a 5.85 ERA. In the 15 starts he made in the second half he recorded a 3.41 earned run average. In his career, he’s posted a 4.77 ERA in his first-half starts, while posting a 3.85 ERA in his career second-half starts.
Gausman spoke about his second-half successes with the Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo A. Encino. He told Encino:
“I’ve always gotten better as the season goes on. That’s always comforting to know. But at the same time, [this year] I wanted to concentrate on being better earlier so I could be at my best late.”
As for the teams interested, including the Yankees, it makes for a great selling point. The Yankees are in dire need of a viable option to pitch every fifth day. Not imagining his potential top-of-the-line rotation stuff, Gausman remains a fit just based on the fact he’s been more effective then guys like Domingo German (optioned to Triple-A) and Sonny Gray (5.34 ERA) have been all season.
At this juncture, the Yankees and Cashman aren’t looking towards a big-name starting pitcher as much as they are trying to locate an arm that can eat up six innings every time he’s out there. Gausman, Happ, Ross, and etc. might not have the sexiest appeal but they provide something the Yankees back-end starters have struggled with this season.
The ultimate question remains what the cost could and will be. Is a name like Kevin Gausman worth having to part ways with a top 15 Yankees’ prospect? It’s very hard to determine — and thankfully it’s Brian Cashman’s job and not someone else.
Gausman returns to the mound on Monday to take on the dangerous Red Sox lineup. In his one start this year against Boston he went 4.2 innings surrendering six runs on eight hits while striking out six.
A good start for Gausman on Monday night could be a determining factor for Cashman, who will be watching ever so closely.