When the New York Yankees didn’t add a top starting pitcher in free agency, they became a candidate to trade for one at some point during the 2019 MLB season. That notion has only been furthered through the first 34 games as the team continues to suffer significant injuries.

Luis Severino still hasn’t taken the mound this year, and the Yankees’ ace won’t return before the All-Star break as he recovers from a rotator cuff and a lat injury. James Paxton, whom New York traded for last fall and had been pitching well, is on the injured list with a knee injury.

Sources have told SNY.tv’s Andy Martino that the Yankees will focus on improving the rotation before the July 31 deadline. The organization could go after a few pitchers that they’ve targeted over the past year.

Martino noted that the Yankees could pursue a deal with the New York Mets. The Yankees reportedly tried to acquire Noah Syndergaard during the offseason, and it’s something they might revisit if the Mets fall out of the playoff race this summer.

One potential deal for Syndergaard would’ve cost the Yankees Miguel Andujar. The third baseman recently returned after missing April with a partially torn labrum.

The Yankees were linked to Jacob deGrom last summer, though the reigning NL Cy Young winner almost certainly won’t be moved after signing a contract extension with the Mets. Zack Wheeler might become an option for the Yankees since the right-hander is headed for free agency.

Wheeler was as effective as any pitcher in the second half of last year with a 1.68 ERA after the All-Star break. He has a 4.64 ERA in seven starts this year.

Syndergaard has pitched poorly overall in 2019 with a 5.02 ERA, though he has a 3.09 career ERA and more value than most starters around the league.

The Mets are hoping to compete for a playoff spot this season. The team has lost 15 of 22 games after a hot start. They are 3.5 games out of first place in a competitive NL East with a 16-19 record.

Dallas Keuchel remains an option for the Yankees in free agency. New York won’t make a play for the former Cy Young winner until after the MLB Draft on June 5. Signing him before that date would cost the Yankees a compensatory draft pick.

Led by surprising production from Domingo German, the Yankees’ rotation has been more than serviceable this season. The team doesn’t have to make an addition that would cost them a valuable asset just yet.

New York has survived its early rash of injuries as well as could’ve been expected with a 20-14 record.

But as the playoffs near and New York looks to strengthen their biggest weakest from last postseason, the Yankees could be primed to make a significant move in a few months.