Report: New York Yankees One of the Leading Teams in Chase for Ricky Nolasco

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIJune 13, 2013

Jun 10, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) throws against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees currently have a full rotation, Ivan Nova in the minor leagues and Michael Pineda on a rehab assignment. On the surface, it wouldn't appear as if they need any more starting pitching.

That being said, the unreliability of Phil Hughes and the question marks surrounding Nova's inconsistencies and Pineda's shoulder have led them to Miami Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco.

Nolasco, a free agent after the season, could be just what the Yankees need to solve some of their potential issues at the back-end of the rotation.

Jayson Stark of reports that the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles are the two leading teams in the chase to acquire Nolasco's services. Nolasco may have a 4.44 career ERA in eight seasons for the Marlins, but his performance this season would make him a valuable addition to the club.

Nolasco owns a 3.80 ERA, a 1.198 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 87.2 innings pitched. His 3-7 record is deceiving, as the Marlins don't exactly have the most potent offense in the league.

Stark notes that Nolasco could potentially be dealt "weeks before the trading deadline," as pitchers Nate Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez are almost ready to rejoin the team after spending time on the disabled list.

Nolasco is most certainly worth pursuing. Because he's a free agent at the end of the season, the Marlins would not be able to ask for a huge return. Miami likely won't be re-signing him at the end of the season, so general manager Michael Hill should be happy to get anything out of him.

The Yankees could give up a mid-level prospect or two (say, shortstop Addison Maruszak and pitcher Danny Burawa) in an effort to entice Miami.

This would make Nolasco a solid rental for the second-half of the season. The Yankees could re-sign him following the season if he performs well, but those intentions likely won't be in mind should a trade go down.

Such a move would be made to contend this season with the Boston Red Sox and Orioles in the tight American League East.

Offensive firepower is the biggest issue for the Yankees at this point in the season, but strengthening the pitching staff is never a bad idea. General manager Brian Cashman should jump at the chance of acquiring Nolasco if the opportunity presents itself.