So far none of these pitchers are connected to the Yankees in any rumors. This is purely my speculation that they should be available at the trade deadline if the Yankees wanted to try to work out a deal.
I have to say that nothing jumps out as somebody the Yankees should pull out the stops to acquire. There really isn’t a lot that is attractive. Here are 10 players that should be available however.
- Clayton Kershaw – (LHP, Dodgers, 2011 ERA: 2.93, Contract Status: Arbitration eligible until 2015): With the Dodgers declaring bankruptcy on Monday they may be open to moving some of their big parts. The Yankees should do all they can to acquire this guy if he is available. The problem is, he is still very cheap and under team control for a while, they have no reason to move him.
- Chad Billigsley – (RHP, Dodgers, 2011 ERA: 4.48, Contract Status: 3 yrs, $32 mil left on contract + $14 mil club opt): With much more money owed to Billigsley, if the Dodgers are going to have a fire sale it would be much more likely that they would be willing to part with him than Kershaw. He has a solid K/9 of 8.20 which makes up for his 3.82 BB/9. He would fit in as a solid no. 2 for the Yankees.
- Francisco Liriano – (LHP, Twins, 2011 ERA: 4.59, Contract Status: Arb eligible ’12, FA ’13): Enigmatic is the best way to describe him. He was rumored to have been available in the offseason, should still be available at deadline if the price is right. Shoulder concerns should scare away Yankees.
- Erik Bedard – (LHP, Mariners, 2011 ERA: 2.93, Contract Status: On 1yr, $1 mil deal plus incentives): Bedard is possible the biggest name that is likely to be available. Injuries are clearly a big problem here. For the Yankees his surly attitude might not play. A Rental, won’t be overly expensive.
- Derek Lowe – (RHP, Braves, 2011 ERA: 4.33, Contract Status: 2yrs, $30 mil left): He has seemingly been available since the day he signed the contract with the Braves. This year is no different. The Yankees have said they would prefer rentals though.
- Brett Myers – (RHP, Astros, 2011 ERA: 4.65, Contract Status: 2yrs, $18 mil left, ’13 club option): A solid veteran that should be available. However, like Lowe, he is not just a rental. He is slightly cheaper, but might be slightly less reliable. The price would determine the Yankees interest.
- Mark Buehrle – (RHP, White Sox, 2011 ERA: 3.73, Contract Status: 2yrs, $30 mil left, full NTC): He will be a free agent after this season if he is not traded. If he is then an option kicks in for another year. Seems likely he would waive his NTC, but will the Yankees think he is worth the money and prospects?
- Edwin Jackson – (RHP, White Sox, 2011 ERA: 4.13, Contract Status: 1yr, $8.35 mil left): When the Yankees said they were more interested in rentals they may have had him in mind. He is a solid but unspectacular player who occasionally has a big game. He seems the best fit out of anybody on this list so far. Now the White Sox just have to figure out if they are buyers or sellers…
- Hiroki Kuroda – (RHP, Dodgers, 2011 ERA: 3.07, Contract Status: 1yr, $12 mil deal, full NTC): Or perhaps this was the rental they had in mind. Kuroda has been a strong contributor to the Dodgers. Will that translate to the AL East? His price tag should scare some away, not the Yankees.
- Carlos Zambrano – (RHP, Cubs, 2011 ERA: 4.50, Contract Status: 2 yrs, $35.875 mil left): This would only happen if the Cubs picked up most, if not all, of the rest of Big Z’s contract. He’s the most expensive pitcher on this list and with his attitude he has the potential to be a disaster in the Bronx. He does have potential to pitch as well as anyone on the list though.
Bedard is potentially the most attractive name on this list. Jackson and Kuroda might not be bad additions at the right price. Lowe, Buehrle, and Zambrano are probably the least likely because of the amount of money they are owed. Liriano I just don’t see happening because of fear of his shoulder.
Let’s hear from you! Which pitcher on this list would you want the Yankees to target? Is there somebody I missed that you would rather see them go after?