The Mariners are looking to add some starting pitching depth due to recent injuries to Hisashi Iwakuma (right middle finger) and Taijuan Walker (sore right shoulder). Iwakuma’s finger is expected to be fine in three weeks, while Walker’s shoulder will be checked again in a week with a return more up in the air.
One thing for sure is that neither starter will be in the Mariner’s rotation on Opening Day, so Seattle is looking to trade for a possible arm.
Yankees scouts are searching spring training camps for help at third and second base. With Robinson Cano entrenched at second, the Mariners might move Nick Franklin, although it would likely take more than Phelps to pry Franklin away.
I think it is a bit premature for the Yankees to be thinking about trading Phelps without seeing Michael Pineda throw a few outings in a game.
Phelps provides the Yankees with a solid long man out of the bullpen, not to mention the depth he provides depth to the rotation too.
The Yankees cannot be confident enough in the rotation or pen to look to deal Phelps just yet. But if pitching looks strong towards the end of Spring Training, Phelps stock will be at its highest before Opening Day, so the Yankees would probably consider trading him then.
But the Mariners were not alone, as the White Sox and Brewers also sent scouts to supposedly size up the Yankees catchers.
I am not going to jump the gun yet, as it is still early but it is a story to keep an eye on as Spring Training continues.