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New York Yankees: Could the Bombers Sneak into the Roy Oswalt Chase?

PHILADELPHIA , PA - AUGUST 26:  Roy Oswalt #44 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches against the Florida Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images
Doug RushSenior Analyst IMay 21, 2012

The New York Yankees are currently in the middle of a little slump.

They haven't won a series since they last took two out of three against the Mariners over a week ago, and they dropped five out of six this past week.

Normally, the middle of May wouldn't be a time to panic, but given the fact that now the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays are hanging around in the American League East chase, each series loss is a cause of concern.

The offense has been troublesome, and honestly, I think it will turn things around once Brett Gardner is off the disabled list because he is a difference-maker when he is in the lineup.

The starting rotation has been a concern too, and it doesn't matter what league or what year it is; if your pitching doesn't hold up, you're not going to win and get into the playoffs.

Along with CC Sabathia being the ace pitcher, Andy Pettitte's return to the Bronx should help the Yankees, but they can only go every five days.

That leaves Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova in the rotation, and they have all been up and down this season.

Kuroda is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA, which rose from 3.56 after giving up seven runs against the Blue Jays in his last start.

Hughes is 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA, which has gone down in each start, and he is showing signs of pitching better.

And then there's Nova, who is 4-2 with a 5.69 ERA, and his ERA is really alarming because he's been giving up a lot of runs and getting hit hard in recent starts.

Losing records and high ERAs aren't going to get it done for the Yankees, especially if they are stuck in fourth place and can't get out of their own way.

Which brings me to the topic of this story: Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt has remained a free agent and wanted to start out the 2012 season without a team, giving him more time to rest his back while choosing his suitor in the middle of the season.

Back in late January, it had looked like Oswalt would sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, but the deal fell through and never happened, and Oswalt stayed a free agent and vowed to wait until the summer to pitch again.

Oswalt has been throwing bullpen sessions to audition for teams with hopes of rejoining the major leagues by the middle of June.

Teams like the Phillies, Red Sox, Tigers, Rangers and Cardinals could all have interest. But what about the Yankees? Could they, too, have interest in Oswalt?

It couldn't hurt. After all, if the Yankees are thinking of making any significant additions to the rotation, it would have to come through a trade before July 31, and that would cost the Yankees at least significant prospects.

Oswalt, on the other hand, would only cost the Yankees money and nothing else. No trades, no lost prospects, just cold, hard cash.

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 25:  Pitcher Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros reacts in between innings in the dugout as he sits next to pitcher Andy Pettitte #21 against the Chicago White Sox during Game Three of the 2005 Major League Baseball World Series at Minute M
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Oswalt was 9-10 with a 3.69 ERA back in 2011 for the Phillies and hasn't thrown a live pitch since Game 4 of the NLDS against the Cardinals back on Oct. 5.

Oswalt only made 24 starts during the season and was on the DL from the end of June all the way until the beginning of August with the back issues.

During the winter, rumors of the Yankees and Oswalt came up, but the Yankees didn't want to pursue Oswalt because of the back problems.

But now, with Oswalt rested and healthy, could the Yankees change their tune and have interest in the 34-year old starter?

If Oswalt needed any convincing to lure him to New York, his current friend and former Houston Astros teammate Pettitte could be the one to talk him into pitching in the Bronx.

Right now, all the indications are saying the Yankees are not interested in Oswalt, at least, not right now.

 

Told #Tigers, #Yankees are not in mix for Oswalt at this time.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 18, 2012

If Nova and Kuroda continue to have their struggles and if Hughes has any setbacks, it could cause the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman to change their stance and tune.

It'll be interesting to see over the next couple of weeks what happens with Oswalt and where he will choose to pitch in 2012.

Will the Yankees get involved? It's a great question for all of us to wonder right now.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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