Deivi Garcia, Clarke Schmidt primed for Yankees’ trade-deadline audition

ATLANTA — Just in time, it sure sounds like both Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt could make their major league debuts this weekend in the Subway Series at Yankee Stadium.

Just in time to potentially boost the Yankees’ uneven starting rotation. Just in time to give Yankees fans hope after seeing this wackadoo season turn into “Next Man Up 2: The Smell of Fear.”

Just in time, most importantly, before the trade deadline.

With Monday marking the last day clubs can make deals, with small samples en vogue, shouldn’t the Yankees throw Garcia and Schmidt out on the big stage once, to get a sense of what they have with this duo before pulling the trigger on a significant external acquisition? All the more so with Tuesday night’s bad weather here creating three doubleheaders in the next five days — Wednesday against the Braves at Truist Park, then Friday and Sunday against the Mets in The Bronx, creating the need for extra arms anyway.

“They’re guys that we’re definitely starting to have conversations that potentially could come into play in some way, shape or form on the weekend,” Aaron Boone said Tuesday of Garcia and Schmidt. “They will be built up and in line to be an option for us this weekend.”

Barring something unexpected, in other words, they’ll be wearing pinstripes and if not starting, then on site and ready to contribute out of the bullpen. And really, you might as well start Garcia and Schmidt. Boone has only Jordan Montgomery Friday and J.A. Happ Saturday set in stone, and the pushing back of Gerrit Cole from Tuesday to Wednesday means his next start won’t come until Monday night against the rival Rays, which the Yankees were planning even before Tuesday’s developments.

Now, that “something unexpected,” need not only be the coronavirus. It also could be a trade if a seller forces the issue before Monday. And if the Yankees find a deal that works in time to start a new guy against the Mets, then naturally they should go to it.

The best deals often occur on the actual deadline day, however, and given all of the additional factors that COVID and the reduced schedule throw in the mix, expect history to repeat itself there. The most appealing arms such as the Reds’ Trevor Bauer, the Indians’ Mike Clevinger and the Rangers’ Lance Lynn are no guarantee to be dealt; those clubs probably will take as much time as possible to contemplate those difficult calls.

By taking as long as possible on their side, the Yankees can enjoy a glimpse of Garcia, who nearly rose all the way to the big leagues last year, and Schmidt, whose 2020 stock has surged as much as one’s can without throwing in a single game that counted. Both young men have been working at the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton; Schmidt is not on the 40-man roster, so his activation would require an additional move, although that shouldn’t be serious enough an impediment to block this from happening.

Normally you’d want to see more than one start before factoring it into a decision. These are not normal times.

Asked what expectations he had for the trade deadline, Boone said, “Honestly, no real expectations. Obviously it’s such a unique year and i think [general manager Brian Cashman] and everyone in the front office is kind of navigating what all that means. I know they’re certainly doing their due diligence and going through the process and having conference calls and Zoom calls and definitely exploring a lot of different options. What comes from that remains to be seen. But I haven’t really had any heavy conversations with Cash the last couple of days in regards to that other than knowing they’re putting a lot of time into at least exploring different options.”

That’s what teams do, even during a pandemic. It’ll be fruitful for the Yankees to explore two more in-house options this weekend, just in time amidst this ultra-speedy campaign.

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