3 trades Yankees must make to answer Rays-Nelson Cruz move

Jon Gray, Colorado Rockies, Atlanta Braves. (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

If the New York Yankees want to answer the Tampa Bay Rays’ acquisition of Nelson Cruz, they should consider make one of these three trades.

The New York Yankees appeared to be in disastrous territory exiting the All-Star break. Not only do they have to face a murderers row of opponents up until the trade deadline, but also had to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined six players, including Aaron Judge and Gio Urshela. Yet, the Yankees won four of their first five games after the break heading into Thursday night and were just seven games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East, bringing the team to the point where they may buy at the July 30 trade deadline.

The Yankees may have gotten some incentive to buy, as the Tampa Bay Rays negotiated a trade with the Minnesota Twins on Thursday to acquire the services of slugger Nelson Cruz. While the Yankees are certainly not out of the postseason race, they do have to respond in some way to their AL East counterparts. Here are three players the Yankees should target ahead of the trade deadline.

3. Jon Gray

The best way the Yankees can increase their chances of making a push to the postseason is to add an arm to their rather banged-up starting rotation.

Corey Kluber was lost to a shoulder injury shortly after throwing a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers and Luis Severino’s rehab assignment in his return from Tommy John surgery was cut short after suffering a groin strain. Not to mention that the Jameson Taillon experiment has been more of a rollercoaster ride than anything. The Yankees simply need to add a pitcher to start behind Gerrit Cole in the rotation. Perhaps the best, and most attainable, target is Jon Gray of the Colorado Rockies.

After a down 2020 campaign where he owned a 6.69 ERA through eight starts, Gray is having a much better go of things in 2021. Through 17 starts this season, Gray posted a 3.68 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 87 strikeouts over 93.0 innings of work.

While the likes of Kluber and Severino are slated to return later this season, the Yankees should not hesitate to add Gray ahead of the deadline. The more insurance the rotation has, the better. Let’s not forget that the team with a stronger starting rotation has the better chance of winning the World Series.

Source: FanSided

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