The Pittsburgh Pirates are looking to shore up their starting rotation and have turned their eyes to the New York Yankees, with struggling pitcher Nathan Eovaldi the target, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review citing an unidentified source.
The Yankees, who fell under .500 with a loss to the Red Sox on Friday, are debating whether to become buyers or sellers at the Aug. 1 trade deadline. The Pirates want to reset their rotation and have put struggling left-hander Jon Niese on the trade block. The Pirates moved Niese to the bullpen on Friday and are actively looking to make a deal for pitching help.
Eovaldi, 26, is 7-6 with a 5.11 ERA in 19 outings this season and came out of the bullpen for an inning against Boston on Friday. He was pulled from the rotation on July 1 and moved to the bullpen, where he has made three appearances. The right-hander will be inserted back into the Yankees rotation next week, per manager Joe Girardi, as the fifth starter. Eovaldi is making $5.6 million this year with one year of arbitration eligibility remaining.
The Yankees acquired Eovaldi from the Marlins after the 2014 season in a package that included sending third baseman Martin Prado to Miami. Eovaldi was 14-3 with a 4.20 ERA for the Yankees in 2015, including a strong second half. He is 36-44 with a 4.24 ERA for his career.
To acquire Eovaldi, the Pirates would likely have to part with a pitching prospect such as Chad Kuhl, Trevor Williams or Steven Brault, per the Tribune-Review. Kuhl will start Sunday against the Nationals while Williams and Brault are in the rotation at Triple-A Indianapolis.