Brian Cashman has again suggested he will use the Yankees surplus of pitching to target a DH in the trade market.
Looking at it from all sides, this is what New York has. CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda are NOT being traded. Don't even try to argue it. Then, the possibilities are A.J. Burnett, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes.
First, we have Burnett. The Yankees would love to get rid of Burnett, but don't count on it. His salary is too high, and he has not been successful the past two seasons. The Yankees would have to take the majority of his contract in a trade, similar to the Vernon Wells debacle. It's possible, but don't count on it. Even as inconsistent as Burnett can be, he always eats innings up. If that is his one upside, it's worth keeping him around.
Next, we have Freddy Garcia. At first look, it may seem like he would be a good trade candidate, but think again. According to the twitter account of Andrew Marchand, the Yankees cannot trade Garcia until June, unless he gives permission. Not 100 percent certain of the reason for this, but it must be a clause in the contract (in the NBA, Tyson Chandler can't be traded for at least 60 days from when he was signed, which has become a story with the Dwight Howard rumor, but that's a whole other story). Aside from this June trade issue, Garcia is 35. He had a decent season last year, but it's not very likely the Yankees will get any DH worth noting in return.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Phil Hughes. If you ask me, Hughes will not be on the Yankees come opening day. Hughes is by far, the most attractive trade piece out of this trio, and the likeliest to be moved.
Having been recently signed to a one-year, $3.2 million deal, Hughes has a contract that can easily be dealt. Aside from the money issue, Hughes is only 25, and still has a major upside for a team looking for young starting pitching. Although his 2011 campaign wasn't impressive, Hughes has shown shots of brilliance over the years. Whether it was his flirt with a no-hitter as a rookie in 2007, or his All-Star campaign in 2010, the guy definitely has the stuff.
For the first time in years, the Yankees have a surplus of starting pitching, and Phil Hughes could very likely be the odd man out.