Taijuan Walker draws Yanks' interest (source)

August 25th, 2020

The most recent trade between the Yankees and Mariners was in November.

They’re due for another one.

The Yankees are among the teams to have checked in on Seattle right-hander , according to a source. The development is not likely to stun the baseball industry.

First, the forearm flexor strain that sent James Paxton to the injured list is sufficient cause for the Yankees to seek additional rotation depth. Walker, a free agent after this season, is one of the top rental starters available.

Walker, who turned 28 this month, made only four starts during the previous two Major League seasons because of Tommy John surgery in 2018. But he caught attention around the sport for his victory over the World Series favorite Dodgers last week, in which he struck out eight batters over seven innings.

Walker also shut out the Oakland A’s, a likely playoff team, over seven innings in a July 31 start, supporting the notion that he could succeed against top lineups in October.

Meanwhile, the transaction history between the Yankees and Mariners suggests a strong working relationship between the respective general managers, Brian Cashman and Jerry Dipoto.

The clubs have executed eight trades since Dipoto assumed control of the Mariners’ baseball operations after the 2015 regular season. Ironically, Paxton was part of one of the more notable deals between the clubs, after the 2018 season.

The teams struck two deals in 2016, one in 2017, two in 2018, and three last year alone — including Edwin Encarnación’s move to New York in June.

Last year’s Trade Deadline was somewhat unique for Cashman, in that he didn’t acquire a starting pitcher. He added a pair in each of the previous two seasons: J.A. Happ and Lance Lynn in 2018, after Sonny Gray and Jaime García in 2017.