Yankees Trade Rumors: Are Bombers in a Battle with Dodgers for Matt Garza?

Brian BuckleyContributor IIJuly 25, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 02: Matt Garza #22 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at AT&T Park on June 2, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Virtually out of left (or right) field, the Yankees pulled off a deal to bring in 10- time All-Star and former AL MVP Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners. Acquiring veterans at the trade deadline has become a hallmark staple of general manger Brian Cashman.

Yet even after the unexpected trade, the focus needs to be directed at where the most pressing issues remain: pitching.

Of course, the Yankees are riding high, but improvements most certainly are on the eye of the front office. Moving forward to October, the team is well aware they need a battle tested hurler who won’t shy away from the big moment. Many trade acquisitions of the pitching variety past didn’t have it, like Kevin Brown, Javier Vazquez and Jeff Weaver.

So with the Chicago Cubs dangling virtually every player in the eyes of all the MLB, a hurler with the chutzpah of Matt Garza would be particularly interesting.

However, the Yankees aren’t the only club that finds the former AL East pitcher tantalizing, because the suddenly deep pockets of the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested as well.

With the potential season-ending injury to Andy Pettitte, the team is left with an empty starters slot, which is currently occupied by Freddy Garcia. His last four starts have been short but mostly effective on the mound. But no one is ready to co-sign that he’s a sure bet going forward.

With the Cubs making it no secret that Garza is available, a bevy of teams are interested. Currently, the right-hander sports a 5-7 record with 3.91 ERA. In the last year of his contract, his rental and long-term prospects are what catch the eye of many GMs.

That attractiveness has certainly caught the eye of Dodgers GM Ned Coletti. After seemingly losing out on the Ryan Dempster deal with the North Siders, it appears the Chicago native will once again try to wet his beak.

Right now, Los Angeles is on the heels of San Francisco for the lead in the NL West. As the trade deadline approaches, they might want to add some right handed firepower for the long stretch. Both of LA's impact starters (Chris Capuano and Clayton Kershaw) are lefties, so adding a 28-year-old right-hander in his prime to even out the rotation could do wonders.

As July 31 draws near, both teams could benefit from the use of Garza. With the Dodgers chasing the lead in their respective decision, their need seems to be more urgent that of the Bombers.

But remember, the Yankees can be unpredictable when they see something they want. A show of hands: Who would have thought three days ago Ichiro would have been in the Yankees lineup?