Yankees Trade Talk: 10 Teams Who Need Some of the Yankees' Surplus Pitching
After the New York Yankees brought in the likes of Hiroki Kuroda (free agency) and Michael Pineda (trade), they find themselves with excess pitching. It's a problem most teams wish they had and it's exactly the problem the Yanks currently have.
On the block are both A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.
Hughes is the more attractive piece of the two. He's a former top prospect of the Bombers and is only 26 years old with a small salary. Burnett, on the other hand, is a lot older and has had two very bad seasons in a row and costs much more than Hughes.
The only hope the Bombers have of moving Burnett is picking up more of his salary over the next two years of his current deal.
Putting the money aside, there are several teams out there who could use a starting pitcher and the Yanks have an extra few to spare. Here are 10 teams that fit that bill.
Boston Red Sox
Although these two teams would never trade with one another, the Boston Red Sox are in need of starting pitching.
Boston has been rumored to be interested in Roy Oswalt, Edwin Jackson and Hiroki Kuroda, but nothing has panned out thus far.
Before John Lackey's season-ending injury, the Sox were desperately seeking pitching and are even worse off now. With Jackson signing in Washington, Kuroda going to the rival Yankees and Oswalt having trouble making up his mind, Boston's pitching problems are very much in limbo.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Kent Horner/Getty Images
After losing Hiroki Kuroda, the Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves a little slim in the starting pitching department. It's tough to have confidence in the younger arms getting them anywhere while some of their veterans have been inconsistent in past years (Ted Lilly and Chad Billingsley).
They could use some depth at their back end and as far as consistency is concerned, Hughes and/or Burnett wouldn't help them in that department.
Still, the Dodgers need more pitching and that's why they make this list.
Leon Halip/Getty Images
The Cleveland Indians have been surprisingly aggressive in the past few years, but after all that, their starting rotation isn't much better than it was before the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.
Oswalt has already snubbed them, while Fausto Carmona (if that is your real name) is having identity problems that could land him in jail.
The Indians appear motivated to compete at almost any cost and could certainly use one of the excess pitchers the Yanks have to fill out their rotation. They might be one of the few teams willing to pick up a salary like Burnett's (or I should say some of it) since they need the pitching bad enough.
Kansas City Royals
Brian Kersey/Getty Images
Hughes would be the perfect fit in Kansas City. He's cheaper than Butler, saving the Royals money and he could add some depth and experience for Kansas City.
Still, don't expect it to happen as Butler is a major cog in the Royals' offense and losing him could make them even worse in the run production department than they already are. And don't forget, they traded away another major offensive piece in Melky Cabrera.
Along with Bruce Chen and Jonathan Sanchez, Hughes could give the Royals their first formidable rotation in years.
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
After losing Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson the past two years, the Texas Rangers' rotation is the slimmest it's been in awhile.
Yes, they did sign Yu Darvish, but as we've learned in the past, dominant pitchers from Japan are no certainty here in the states.
So the Rangers could use more depth and having offense to waste, they have some pieces to make a move. I would expect the Rangers to do something before the offseason is done and that move could involve a trade with the Yankees.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The Milwaukee Brewers have had a rough offseason. Not only did they lose their best power-hitter in Prince Fielder, their MVP outfielder, Ryan Braun, scored a positive test for PEDs.
Add that to the fact that free-agent-to-be Zack Greinke might be too expensive for them to re-sign after he becomes a free-agent, and you have a team in need of starting pitching.
The Brewers finally won a playoff series last year and must try to build on their best season in what seems like an eternity. It'll be tough to do having losing Fielder, but a step in the right direction would be to add some pitching.
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
With Cole Hamels all but finished in Philly after this season, the team must look elsewhere for rotation depth.
Hamels will be a free agent in 2013 and could command No. 1 starter-type money, and with Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay on the books for that type of cash, it's doubtful the Phils will add a third starter with a similar contract.
Hughes would be perfect for the Phillies (provided that he's healthy), giving them a solid starter who will come cheap for a few more years while adding some much needed depth after Hamels departs.
San Francisco Giants
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
After finally agreeing to terms with Tim Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants will now turn their sights to Matt Cain and try to sign him to the extension he desires.
Cain, however, will command the type of money that Lincecum is getting (around $20 million per year) and that could be out of the price range for the team by the Bay. It's doubtful the Giants will spend $40 million on two starters alone.
Throw in the fact that Jonathan Sanchez was shipped to KC for Melky Cabrera and you have a team who could use another arm. Say what you want about the Giants' young prospects coming up, it's tough to believe that they'll replace the type of success that Cain has had after he becomes a free agent.
Toronto Blue Jays
If you're a fan of any team from the AL East, it seems like every year is going to be the year that the Toronto Blue Jays break through and have a great season.
Unfortunately for the Jays, we're all still waiting for that to happen.
But if they ever want to compete in a tough division like the AL East, they must add depth to their rotation. Toronto just gave Jose Bautista a contract extension, so the team is willing to spend money.
Kyle Drabek's rocky 2011 might have thrown a wrench in the Blue Jays' plans of having a solid rotation behind Ricky Romero, and they could use a little veteran presence in the rotation to sure things up.
Burnett had three solid seasons in Toronto and the Jays might not be too gun shy in bringing him back. Burnett is a shell of himself in comparison to what he did in Toronto and the Blue Jays might be one of the few teams who actually have faith in the disappointing right-hander.
Jack Dempsey/Getty Images
After adding several new pieces during the offseason on the offensive side of the ball, the Colorado Rockies could use another arm or two to help add depth to their starting rotation.
No doubt Michael Cuddyer, Ramon Hernandez and Marco Scutaro will help this team, but in the homer-friendly ballpark in Colorado, solid pitching is a must.
If they hope to beat out the Giants or Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, they must beef up their starting staff and the Yanks have the pieces to do it.
I must admit the thought of Burnett in Coors Field is scary, but if the Yanks pick up most of his salary it would be a relatively solid acquisition for the veteran right-hander. On the other side of the coin, Hughes would be a nice, cheap addition for Colorado after all the money they spent this winter.