Pablo Lopez (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees reportedly checked
on the availability of Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez
ahead of Tuesday’s 2022 MLB trade deadline.

Jon Heyman of the New York Post
reported the Yanks “found the price high” on Lopez, who’s
compiled a 3.41 ERA across 21 starts for the Marlins this season.

New York doesn’t feature a major need
in its rotation, which makes the call about Lopez a bit of a
surprise, though Heyman described it as a “pie-in-the-sky” idea.

The Yankees already added Frankie Montas in a
blockbuster deal with the Oakland Athletics. He joins Gerrit Cole,
Nestor Cortes, Jordan Montgomery and Jameson Taillon as part of the
starting staff. Domingo German and Luis Severino have been limited by
injuries this year, but they could also be options down the stretch.

Lopez has been a reliable starter
across five years in Miami. He’s posted a 3.87 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in
83 career appearances with 434 strikeouts in 448.2 innings.

While those are rock-solid numbers,
they fall short of the ace standard the Yanks could justify paying a high price for to pair with Cole and Montas as part
of an all-in World Series push.

Lopez endured one of his worst career
starts Sunday, giving up 12 hits and six earned runs in just 2.2
innings against the New York Mets, but he said afterward speculation
about his future wasn’t a factor in the struggles.

“No, 100 percent not,” he told
reporters
. “Obviously, rumors are just rumors. They’re not a fact
until something actually happens. If I told you that I haven’t heard
anything, I would be lying to you. But at the end of the day, my
focus the last four or five days has been getting ready for today’s
start—preparation both mentally and physically to give my team a
chance to win today.”

While the Marlins have started to fade
from the playoff race with a 47-56 record, the asking price for Lopez
doesn’t figure to fall before the deadline since he’s under club
control through the 2024 season via arbitration, per Spotrac.

Along with the Yankees, the Los Angeles
Dodgers have also engaged Miami in conversations about the
26-year-old right-hander, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times.

In both cases, Lopez is more of a
luxury than a necessity, so it’s uncertain whether either
championship contender will be willing to meet the Marlins’ demands.

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