“Can’t rule it out, but it’s highly unlikely,’’ Brian Cashman said about trading for a starter before the season starts. “Normally anything of quality doesn’t become available until after the June draft. That’s why you try and get as much as you can get accomplished in the winter . . . I know New York doesn’t handle patience very well. But I’m from Kentucky, so it’s a little easier for me to deal with.’’
The Yankees are going to be competitive in 2011. They are. But they won’t look like a World Series team unless they do something about their starting rotation. That could mean having a prospect mature or that could mean Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia turn back the clock. If it’s going to happen this year though it’s probably going to have to be through a trade.
That doesn’t mean that Cashman needs to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade. Sure he could probably go out and land Barry Zito or Joe Blanton today, but realistically where does that get the Yankees? They wouldn’t be much better off than they are without them. So he’s got to wait until something of real quality becomes available. It’s not like they don’t have options in the meantime.
Everybody’s ultimate dream is Felix Hernandez, but the simple fact is that he’s not available no matter what the offer is right now. Maybe that changes in the future though. More likely, the Twins could make Francisco Liriano available. Cashman reached out and asked about him earlier in the winter, but the Twins aren’t looking to deal right now. If that changes the Yankees would be better off dealing for him down the road than they would be if they traded for Blanton right now.
So it may not be the best case scenario for the Yankees, not being able to land a good pitcher now, but it is what it is. There just isn’t anything that great available right now. That will eventually change and Cashman thinks that the dominoes will start falling in June after the amateur draft.