Sources: Yankees looking for bullpen, rotation help ahead of 2021 MLB trade deadline

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman treated image, on phone wearing coat with blue/grey background
Yankees GM Brian Cashman treated image, on phone wearing coat with blue/grey background

The Yankees’ search for outfielders before the July 30 trade deadline is well-known, but league sources say that the team has also been on the prowl for bullpen and rotation upgrades.

The need for pen help in particular has felt acute over the past few nights, when Nick Nelson relieved Zack Britton in the eighth inning of a close game against the Phillies, and Brooks Kriske lost a heartbreaker in Boston after throwing four wild pitches in the 10th.

The generally reliable Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman have struggled at times, and Britton has been slowed by injuries. On the positive side, Justin Wilson is starting to look better.

The Yanks appear to be in buying mode, with their scouts fanned out across the country and GM Brian Cashman working the phones -- but the $210 million luxury tax remains a complication.

The most obvious outfield fit might be Miami centerfielder Starling Marte, who is very available. But with the Yankees just a few million dollars under a threshold that they still seem highly reluctant to cross, they haven’t seen much traction on that front, according to sources.

The Yanks will have to get creative in staying under the tax and adding anything at the deadline. That could mean overpaying in a trade with players to get the other team to pay down salary, or finding a way to dump money elsewhere on the payroll.