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MLB Trade Rumors: Luis Severino is Yankees’ Key to Deal for Impact Starter

July 18th, 2014 at 7:00 AM
By Michael Moraitis

New York Yankees prospect Luis Severino is quickly becoming a major-league ready starter at the tender age of 20, but with a year or so to go until that actually happens, he can't help the team in its current predicament.

That problem is starting pitching. The Yanks have seen 80 percent of their rotation go down to injury, with 40 percent certainly gone for the year and the other 40 percent hanging by a thread.

General manager Brian Cashman has repeatedly said pitching will be a major priority for the Yanks before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline passes. However, it seems the problem may be that Severino, who Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported is the team's best pitching prospect in 10 years, is the guy opposing clubs are asking for in a deal:

He is the prospect asked for when, say, the Cubs are trying to move Jeff Samardzija. And multiple scouts and executives not associated with the Yanks lavished praise, with one personnel man emailing to say, “totally legit. Power stuff across the board. Easy fastball. My worry is he is not very big, but the stuff plays.”

The 20-year-old also recently broke into the top-50 prospects list of both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. His performance at the MLB Futures Game left many taking notice of his Pedro Martinez-like frame throwing fire.

The interest in Severino grows and so does the demand. If the Yanks' GM hopes to bring in a top-notch starter to give the team a chance in 2014, Severino is the guy that will get it done. Behold the cost of doing business for a frontline arm.

But that's easier said than done. Cashman isn't so quick to give up his prospects nowadays, and it's what kept him from ever having a chance at Jeff Samardzija and/or Jason Hammel. Or any other impact starter for that matter.

Perhaps Cash is having a bit of foresight on this one. He sees a budding young star in his farm system who is skipping levels at an astonishing pace on his way to a date with spring training in 2015.

There is a distinct chance Severino can make the team next season. He isn't a frustratingly long amount of time away from being a contributor with his incredible stuff, which makes it even harder to pull the trigger on a trade.

More than likely the Yanks will get a middle-of-the-rotation starter that will cost them less in prospect value. Another scenario would certainly be taking on expensive, risky contracts in order to lower the asking price. 

Whatever the Yanks do to land a starting pitcher, it won't involve Severino.

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