It couldn't be clearer that the New York Yankees need to trade for a starting pitcher. The team’s rotation has been a disaster in the week leading up to Wednesday’s deadline, bumping up the ERA of the Yankees’ starters to 4.77.

Several names have been linked to New York in recent months, though only a handful of pitchers appear to be realistic options. Marcus Stroman has already been moved. Deals for the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard are long shots, at best.

Robbie Ray has emerged as potentially the most likely pitcher to find himself in pinstripes before the 2019 MLB trade deadline arrives. The Yankees are reportedly interested in the left-hander. The Arizona Diamondbacks are candidates to become sellers, having fallen below .500 with five teams standing between them and the second NL Wild-Card spot.

According to MLB insider Peter Gammons, the Yankees and Diamondbacks have discussed a trade for Ray that would include outfield prospect Clint Frazier. Fraizer hit 11 home runs and slugged .513 in 53 games with the Yankees this season before being sent back to Triple-A.

Arizona reliever Archie Bradley has reportedly been discussed as a possible addition in a deal between the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

Ray is a strikeout machine with 173 K’s in 129 innings. The veteran also gives home runs and walks at a higher rate than almost anyone, having surrendered 23 homers and 58 free passes.

Ray has a 3.91 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP, nearly identical to the numbers he posted a season ago.

In a good rotation, Ray might be a No.3 or No.4 starter. With the Yankees, however, he might immediately become the favorite to start Game 2 of a playoff series.

Domingo German leads New York starters with a 4.08 ERA and is headed toward an innings limit. Masahiro Tanaka and his 4.79 ERA is the Yankees’ No.1 choice to start a postseason game because of his history of playoff success. C.C. Sabathia, J.A. Happ and James Paxton all have ERA’s north of 4.70.

The Yankees have the best record in the American League and a real chance to return to the World Series for the first time in a decade. It’s hard to believe they won’t add a starter, and Ray is quickly becoming the most logical pitcher to join the rotation.

Trevor Bauer might be a more desirable option for the Yankees. The right-hander has slightly better numbers than Ray, leading the league with 156.2 innings pitched to go along with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

The Cleveland Indians are atop the AL Wild-Card standings and just two games out of first place in the AL Central, making it unlikely that Bauer will be moved. Cleveland might demand an expensive trade package in exchange for the pitcher that finished sixth in the 2018 AL Cy Young race.

One general manager told’s Mark Feinsand he believes the Yankees and Houston Astros are the frontrunners for Bauer. Bauer had a 2.21 ERA last season.

Both Bauer and Ray will enter their final year of arbitration in the 2020 season before hitting free agency.

Brian Cashman New York Yankees
Senior Vice President, General Manager Brian Cashman speaks to the media prior to introducing Aaron Boone as New York Yankee manager at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Mike Stobe/Getty Images