New York Yankees interested in Mariners’ SP Taijuan Walker?

Matt Johnson
Seattle Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB trade deadline is fast approaching and with the New York Yankees desperately in need of pitching, Seattle Mariners starter Taijuan Walker is emerging as a candidate to land in New York.

The Yankees head into action on Tuesday with injuries to their pitching staff quickly mounting. Between the losses of James Paxton, Zack Britton, Luis Avilan – along with Luis Severino’s Tommy John surgery – New York is desperate for more pitching with the Aug. 31 trade deadline closing in.

New York Yankees interested in Taijuan Walker

The Yankees are expected to be active leading up to Monday’s deadline, exploring every avenue to address both their starting rotation and bullpen. While there are fewer teams selling this season due to the expanded playoff format, the Mariners are open for business.

According to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi, the Yankees are among the teams who have called Seattle to discuss the availability of Walker.

The 28-year-old righty is expected to be one of several players moved at the MLB trade deadline. While his 4.00 ERA in five starts this season might not inspire confidence, rival clubs recognize the underlying talent and numbers.

In Walker’s most recent start, he held the Los Angeles Dodgers to three runs across seven innings and came out with a win. If beating MLB’s top team wasn’t impressive enough, he also recorded eight strikeouts and allowed just four hits on the night.

Beyond the ERA, Walker’s stats this season are pretty impressive. He is striking out 22.3% of batters faced, holds a 1.07 WHIP and opposing hitters hold a .208 batting average against him, per FanGraphs.

Set to become a free agent at the end of the season, he would be relatively cheap to acquire because he’s only a rental with an iffy track record of performing.

A year after the Yankees failed to acquire a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, it seems likely that general manager Brian Cashman will be more active this season.