MLB Trade Rumors: Justin Verlander To New York Yankees If Masahiro Tanaka Leaves

By James Johansson, Posted: 01/09/17 06:47AM EST

The New York Yankees are expected to look to improve their starting rotation if they eventually find themselves in a good position to go deep into the playoffs. However, there is a possibility that ace pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will leave the Yankees if he gets an opportunity.

Tanaka, who inked a seven-year deal worth $155 million in 2014, could opt out of his contract after the 2017 MLB Season. This is the main reason why the Yankees are currently being linked to star pitchers, who could become available on the trade market, including Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander.

The Yankees boosted their bullpen late last year, reacquiring Aroldis Chapman in free agency. However, the Yankees have not shown strong signal that they are now in a win-now mode. There are top pitchers linked to the Yankees, but New York could have better options if they decide to wait a bit, Bleacher Report reported.

The report said that the Tigers might consider trading Verlander for the right price. The Yankees might become a possible landing spot for the 33-year-old, knowing that they have assets to attract Detroit.

Verlander, who has spent his entire 12-year MLB career with the Tigers, is already 33 years old. However, the veteran pitcher showed last season that he still a lot of gas left in his tank. He went 16-9 in 24 starts with a 3.04 ERA with 254 strikeouts for the Tigers.

The Yankees could also be forced to make a move to get a high-quality starter, knowing that their current ace might play his final season in New York. A good year for Tanaka in the upcoming season might mean that he will opt out of his current deal to look for better options elsewhere.

Aside from Verlander, the report also added that the Yankees might also have a shot at acquiring future free agents like Jake Arrieta, Clayton Kershaw and David Price. "If they don't do anything stupid between now and then, the Yankees will be in position to chase whichever ones they want," Bleacher Report noted.

The Yankees are also chasing a deal to acquire Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Jose Quintana, Sporting News reported. However, the White Sox are reportedly asking for the moon, turning off the Yankees, knowing that 2017 might not be the year they will return to list of top title contenders in the Major League.

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