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Tanner Roark should be New York Yankees’ main starting pitching target

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The New York Yankees have recently checked in on Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Tanner Roark, per Jon Heyman.

Heyman added that the Philadelphia Phillies have also shown interest in Roark, who was traded to the Reds from the Washington Nationals last offseason. Roark is a free agent at season’s end and the Reds have fallen out of wildcard contention in recent weeks, making it likely they will look to move players without control like Roark and ever-entertaining outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Roark has been enjoying a good season. The right-hander owns a 3.95 ERA and has been striking out a career-high 8.9 batters per nine innings. A rough outing against the Rockies on 13th July dented Roark’s numbers somewhat, but he’s bounced back with two solid starts against the Brewers and Cardinals, pitching 11 innings for four earned runs on 11 hits.

The Yankees starters have been on a horrible run of late. The latest run through the rotation was ugly for CC Sabathia (5 earned runs), James Paxton (5 earned runs), Masahiro Tanaka (12 earned runs), J.A. Happ (6 earned runs) and Domingo German (8 earned runs). The previous series against the Colorado Rockies wasn’t much better.

The Yankees’ need for a starter – or maybe two – has been obvious for a while, but the pressure on Brian Cashman to make a deal has only increased.


Texas Rangers ace Mike Minor is an option, but his extra year of control will make the price high. The same goes for Marcus Stroman. Roark is strictly a rental, and that might be a benefit to the Yankees.

The prospect cost for Roark won’t be too much. A bidding war with the Phillies might see that change, though that’s out of the Yankees hands. They should be looking to get a trade done as soon as possible.

Someone like Garrett Whitlock, a 23-year-old Double-A starter, might be enough to land Roark – Whitlock is the Yankees’ 28th prospect per MLB Pipeline.

Cashman should not hesitate to make a move like that. While the Yankees may prefer someone with control, Roark looks like the best value option on the market right now.

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