Could Pitching Injuries Push Yankees To A Trade?

The Yankees made a valiant effort to acquire Cliff Lee before the Mariners decided they liked the Rangers' offer better, but the general feeling at the time was that Lee was just a luxury for a team that already boasted a strong starting five. CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, A.J. Burnett, Javier Vazquez, and Phil Hughes were already a championship-caliber group without Lee, and they have started all but two of the Yanks' games this season. 

Things may have changed this weekend, however. Burnett cut his pitching hand slamming a clubhouse door in frustration on Saturday, and even though he is on track to make his next start, there's no telling how it will affect him. Furthermore, the Yanks have to monitor Hughes' workload down the stretch. The young righty has already thrown 101 innings this year, and it is widely believed that the team will limit him to 170-180 total. The indication is that they will use off days to skip Hughes' turn every so often in the second half.

The biggest issue of all is Pettitte, who left today's start with a Grade I groin strain. GM Brian Cashman said he anticipates a four-to-five week absence, but groin injuries can linger if not addressed properly. Pettitte's spot will be filled by Sergio Mitre for the time being, who is coming off the disabled list himself. Suddenly the rotation went from deep and reliable to having a couple of question marks. 

Buster Olney reported that the team had no plans to acquire another starting pitcher following their failed pursuit of Lee, who they considered a "special case." Pettitte's injury may change things. Former Yankee Ted Lilly seems like a logical fit since he has history with the team and is very much available. His reduced velocity could be a cause for concern, and also the fact that he hasn't pitched in the AL regularly for quite some time. Brett Myers and another former Yankee in Jake Westbrook could be options as well.

Of course, whenever you talk about the Yankees, you have to mention the big names. Roy Oswalt appears to be fine after leaving today's start with an ankle injury, but he would require a significant payroll increase. Dan Haren is also out on the market. The Yanks have indicated that they would not trade top prospect Jesus Montero for anyone currently on the trade market, which would limit their ability to acquire a big-time piece.

When the Yankees needed a starter down the stretch last year, Cashman made a small waiver trade for Chad Gaudin, who pitched well for them in August and September (3.19 ERA in six starts).Brian Bannister, whom the Yanks inquired about last year, and David Bush could still be available this August.

The Yankees have a deeper rotation than last year even with Pettitte's injury, so they might not rush out to make a deal before the non-waiver trade deadline on the 31st. If nothing else, Cashman has shown a willingness to be patient, giving internal options a chance before making a major trade.


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45 Comments on "Could Pitching Injuries Push Yankees To A Trade?"


5 years 17 days ago

Answer: yep. It’s the Yankees.

Other teams have to actually deal with injuries and get help from their reserve / AAA players. Not the Yanks.

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

more like “not like contenders” any contender with 2 possible question marks to their rotation and a 3rd looming would be smarter to go after an established talent rather than gamble on AAA players

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

If they plug Jason Hirsh into the rotation at some point this summer, will you have someone shoot video of you getting down from your cross and put it on YouTube?

East Coast Bias
5 years 17 days ago

I gotta say… I really enjoy reading your comments.

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

Glad my curmudgeonly nature can be of benefit to someone. :)

5 years 17 days ago

Yep, Burnett’s definitely in midseason form….mentally, physically, and performance-wise.

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

He’s in mid-contract form.

5 years 17 days ago

90% of the time?

Largebill
5 years 17 days ago

Westbrook can be had for any minor leaguer as long as the Yankees take Hafner in the same deal.

CosaOne
5 years 17 days ago

They will most likely try Mitre or Ivan Nova before making any moves. Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus also stated that the 4-5 week time table was very cautious so maybe he will be back before then

East Coast Bias
5 years 17 days ago

Hey maybe they should give that Joba kid a shot at the rotation!

(I’m kidding, don’t shoot me)

SixtoLezcano
5 years 17 days ago

Dave Bush makes sense as a spot-starter/insurance policy. He has the same ERA this season as Ted Lilly and would obviously be much cheaper to acquire.

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

I know we all love the guy, but unless you’re looking for an absolute stopgap and nothing more, I wouldn’t want to acquire Bannister to drop in a pennant race in that ballpark, especially if it costs you anything.

jwsox
5 years 17 days ago

seriously they do still have joba, he started last year and was not horrible, he will probably be used in the spot starts when skipping the obviously much better pitcher hughes

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

I wonder if the Yankees have enough balls to try and go for a player most think would be unavailable. Of course they would have to give up a considerable amount of talent to acquire such a pitcher.

Someone like a Zach Grienke, Josh Johnson, Paul Maholm type mold. Basically a young player that they could control for years to come that has a tremendous amount of upside.

They almost certainly would have to bring in a third team to add some pitching to the deal though. The Braves could be a good team for them to partner with in that kind of scenario

Vmmercan
5 years 17 days ago

Bud Selig might have a stroke and ship the Marlins to Las Vegas overnight if they dared trade Josh Johnson for prospects

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

lol. It wouldnt be the first time they cashed in on a player at almost their peak value. Johnson’s only concern is durability aside from that they could get a massive haul for him and probably get players that could contribute immediately. Anibal Sanchez is a great frontline starter for them as well so its not like they traded away the only good pitcher on their team.

Vmmercan
5 years 17 days ago

Oh I completely would understand the deal I just think Johnson is the only proof the marlins care in the least about trying to put money into a team and I do not at all doubt mlb forced it…trading him after all that couldn’t possibly make mlb happy.

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drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

i honestly dont believe they actually care. I believe they did it because lately they have been under such scrutiny for operating at such a low budget and trading away players once they hit the 5 mil mark.

hartvig
5 years 17 days ago

I’m not sure there is enough in the Yankee farm system to get anyone like Grienke or Johnson.

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

Thats why I said they would need to bring in a trading partner in a 3 team deal. This is a crazy proposal that would probably never happen but:

Braves get:
David DeJesus
Alex Gordon

Royals get:
Mike Minor
Jordan Schafer
Robinson Lopez
Jesus Montero
Zach McAllister
Slade Heathcott
Manny Banuelos

Yankees get:
Zach Greinke
Joakim Soria
Brandon Hicks

Yanks get a starter (although hes now rumored to have a shoulder problem) their needed utility infielder, and solidify the back of their pen.

Braves get their replacement CF and future 3B.

Royals basically get a butt load of talent with a couple of players who they could have crack the majors next year in Minor and Montero with Schafer possibly later in the year. From there they have a few more guys who are a few years off but have tons of upside.

Of course the fans of KC would be heartbroken but in 2-3 years could have a great rotation and a solid core.

Its a little bit much for the Braves to give up but Gordon would be worth it IMO.

If anything the Royals could use another prospect.

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

A pitcher goes down with scraped hands and you suggest a three-team, twelve-player trade to land the Yankees Zack Greinke and Joakim Soria.

This is why people are annoyed by Yankee fans.

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

im actually not a Yankee fan. Just a general baseball fan who figured that if the Yankees want a good pitcher they need help in getting one. Royals come to mind among other teams.

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

Also from the beginning i said it was crazy and probably wouldnt happen. Thanks for your concern over what team i am a fan of though

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

I assumed only a Yankee fan could even create a dream situation in which the Royals trade both Greinke and Soria to the Yankees. Also, bear in mind, Montero is easily the best chip the Yankees have, and there are few AL teams that could use him less than the team that is counting on Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer going forward.

drumzalicious
5 years 17 days ago

Montero is a catcher at least for now so they could actually have all 3 in their lineup which would be a bit amazing.

also a yankee fan would have said.

Joba for Greinke straight up lol

Just_MLB
5 years 16 days ago

i had a yankee fan tell me that they wanted to sign David Wright when he became a free-agent…
when i said..ok…where would u play him? they replied…he can be a utility player…

5 years 16 days ago

Actually, a Yankee fan in 2010 would just suggest Sergio Mitre or Ivan Nova make Pettitte’s starts. The charicature of a Yankee fan that seems to exist only to commenters on this site would suggest Josh Johnson as long reliever. Let’s not confuse the two here.

aap212
5 years 16 days ago

I’m a New Yorker. Believe me, I’m familiar with perfectly reasonable Yankee fans.

5 years 16 days ago

You have the Royals trading Greinke, Soria, DeJesus, and Gordon for about what they would want for any two from that list. You seem to forget, the Royals don’t “need” to trade anyone… they have all of the leverage.

5 years 17 days ago

Joba sucks. SOOO overhyped!
And the yankees would call up someone from the minors, ‘cept they have like no good pitchers cause they buy all their players these days isntead of devoloping them. And don’t gimme names like jeter posada mo and hughes like I don’t know about them.

Vmmercan
5 years 17 days ago

I’m going to assume this was sarcasm and you couldn’t possibly be this dumb and incoherent.

Either way, Robinson Cano, Dave Robertson, Andy Pettitte, Marcus Thames, Brett Gardner, Ramiro Pena, Joba Chamberlain and the players used to acquire Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Javier Vazquez would all like a word.

Guest
5 years 16 days ago

Thames? Pena? Chamberlain? Robertson? You’re kidding me right? Chamberlain is the worst one up there.

crashcameron
5 years 17 days ago

“Roger Clemens is in the owner’s box!!!!”

aap212
5 years 17 days ago

Goodness gracious!

5 years 17 days ago

OOOWWWWHHHH MYYYYY GAAWWWWWD! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE RAWGUH CLEMINS RABBLE RABBLE SQUUAAAAAAWWWWWWK!! *tears*

Rich_in_NJ
5 years 17 days ago

The Yankees have enough in house solutions to overcome Pettitte’s injury. I really don’t want them to trade any more prospects until they have more positional redundancy, which should happen within the next calendar year.

Fangaffes
5 years 16 days ago

Pettitte will get his second shot of HGH ever and be right back in the rotation.

5 years 16 days ago

But will he throw his wife under the bus if he is caught?

dickylarue
5 years 16 days ago

The Yankees definitely have the minor league pitching depth to replace one starter and get by. When you add in the erratic and insane AJ Burnett though, then the Yankee rotation is 3 deep with a big honking question mark.

They’ll have to get a pitcher at the deadline, but it’s not going to be the kind of name that lights up the sky. It’ll be more of a Gaudin move like last year where they give up nothing of value and take a chance on a guy who can potentially give them innings.

Liam Gallagher
5 years 16 days ago

The Yankees don’t have to trade for a pitcher, they have some arms down in AAA and if they don’t work their still free agent pitchers out there. But replacing a guy like Pettitte is going to be very tough.

YanksFanSince78
5 years 16 days ago

Clearly the Yanks have no problem signing big free agents but if you look at recent hostory the Yanks have NOT made any big mid-season acquisitions to make up for injuries. Instead, to combat injuries to Wang, Arod, Nick Johnson, Posada, Molina and others, they’ve turned to their minor league system and small FA cast offs like Hughes, Aceves, Mitre, Gaudin, Pena, Cervelli, Ransom, Russo, Miranda and others. The Yanks have done an excellent job of using their AAA team to fashion together a lineup and the “stars” of the team have stepped up as well. I would not be shocked to see the Yanks turn to pitchers like McAllister, Ivan Nova or Romulo Sanchez. Any of those guys can be spot starters and long relief guys.

oceanblues
5 years 16 days ago

WOW…now with Pettitte out, I’m soooo glad the Mariners stiffed the Yankees on that Lee trade…I’m still laughing!

Fangaffes
5 years 16 days ago

“The problem with Joba is, for as hard as he can throw a ball, he still doesn’t know how to pitch.”

Some guys take longer than others. Buchholz only figured it out this year.

Fangaffes
5 years 16 days ago

Eh? Joba is only 25, too.