The Yankees might be on the verge of dealing for Cliff Lee, but that won’t keep them from being active in other deals.
According to George King of the NY Post, the Yankees have let the Phillies know that they are interested in dealing for outfielder Jayson Werth who is expected to be put on the trading block.
As I wrote yesterday, the Phillies are currently in the market for a middle of the rotation starter and Javier Vazquez fits that bill especially if the Yankees are able to land Lee. It will probably take more than just Vazquez to land Werth though as the Phillies are said to be looking for a good prospect also in return for Werth. No names have been mentioned specifically in the Yankees organization.
That may keep the Yankees out of a deal for Werth because they are likely to give up at least three solid prospects if they do indeed land Lee. The Red Sox and Rays are also said to be interested in Werth and that may spur the Yankees into overpaying for him just to keep him away from their rivals.
Both the Sox and Rays may be more motivated than the Yankees though as both are dealing with a lack of outfielders and the Yankees are actually good in that department thanks to Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, and Nick Swisher. They are looking for another bat though and there probably won’t be many bats better than Werth.
It should be mentioned that Werth is a Type-A free agent after this season. So trading for Werth would either give the Yankees an advantage when it comes to resigning him or it could net them two first round draft picks should they decide to let him walk. In Werth’s case they would almost definitely offer him arbitration and he would almost definitely reject it looking for a multi-year offer.