Brian Cashman has been a busy man these past few weeks.
First, he acquired Brandon McCarthy in a low-risk deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The right-hander has been strong in the New York Yankees rotation, sporting a 1.45 ERA and 1.179 WHIP in three starts.
Chase Headley was the next outsider to join the Bombers and made his presence felt early. In his first game with the team, the third baseman hit a walk-off single against the Texas Rangers. He has three hits in 10 at-bats so far in his Yankees career.
In a lower-profile move, Cashman brought in left-hander Chris Capuano for cash considerations, per Matt Snyder of CBS Sports. Capuano began the year with the Boston Red Sox but found his way to the Colorado Rockies after ineffectiveness in Beantown. Now he'll look to solidify a spot on the Yankees staff for the stretch run.
What else does Cashman have up his sleeve? Probably something, as the Yankees have been involved in a multitude of trade rumors recently. We'll play Fact or Fiction with the latest trade talks below.
Checking in on John Danks
The facelifts to the rotation should continue during the next week, as the Yankees have been ravaged by injuries to their starters. The losses haven't been too apparent with the surprising seasons of Chase Whitley and Shane Greene, but a rotation headlined by Hiroki Kuroda likely won't make it deep into the playoffs.
The starting five currently looks like Kuroda, McCarthy, Whitley, Greene and David Phelps. To open the season, it was CC Sabathia, Kuroda, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda. Oh, look how far we've come.
More help could be on the way, however. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the team has checked in on John Danks:
yanks check in on danks. talks in early stages. http://t.co/0Pcu7mMWlA— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 22, 2014
The Chicago White Sox lefty has been decent as a fifth starter this year. He owns a 4.35 ERA and 4.70 FIP but has given good length. With 124 innings pitched over 20 starts, he's reliable enough to give his team around six innings per start.
Danks was one of the better lefties in the American League from 2008 to 2010, winning 40 games and posting an ERA of 3.77 or lower in each year. He has won just 23 games since, though, so the Yankees would likely be buying low.
Danks is under contract through 2016. He is owed $14.25 million this season, and the rest of the deal should pay him about $34 million in total. This is something the Yankees can absorb, but only if the price doesn't include top prospects.
This is the type of move that Cashman should make. Danks isn't an impact guy, but he can give the bullpen a break by providing reliable innings. Plus, the lefties of the AL East will have another southpaw to reckon with if this deal goes down.
This deal could materialize quickly.
The Return of Ian Kennedy?
Ian Kennedy and the Yankees parted ways following the 2009 season in the three-team deal that netted the Bombers Curtis Granderson from the Detroit Tigers. Kennedy was sent to Arizona, where he won 21 games in his second season in the desert.
Despite inconsistencies, Kennedy has become a pretty reliable starter. He owns a 3.66 ERA, 3.11 FIP and 1.219 WHIP this season with the San Diego Padres. Those marks are probable reasons why he has become an attractive trade target for multiple teams—including the Yankees, per ESPN's Jim Bowden:
Yankees & Padres discussing deal that would send Ian Kennedy to Yankees in exchange for Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin according to a source— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 25, 2014
While it's undeniable that Kennedy is an upgrade for this rotation, he wasn't very successful in his tenure in the Bronx from 2007 to 2009. Throw in the steep price tag of Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin, and you can count me out.
Jagielo is one of the best bats in the Yankees' system. He's a third baseman with pop, evidenced by his 13 homers through 58 games this season. He's a left-handed bat who does most of his damage against righties, but he'll gain a better understanding of southpaws as he matures in the system.
Clarkin is a quality lefty arm down in Charleston. He's just 3-3 on the year, but his 3.36 ERA is encouraging. The fact that he has set down 68 batters in 61.2 innings is also a plus.
The price tag for Kennedy is just too high, which the Yankees fortunately recognize:
yankees are interested in kennedy but not in clarkin plus jagielo for kennedy.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 25, 2014
The Padres would need to be "overwhelmed" to deal Kennedy, reports Heyman, so there might not be a logical fit with the Yankees.
Yanks in on Soft-Tossing Southpaw
Another lefty on Cashman's radar is Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, according to Bowden:
De La Rosa's line has gotten a boost given his hot July, but his overall numbers are strong. He is 11-6 over 116 innings with an ERA of 4.19 (4.32 FIP). The peripherals are also strong. According to FanGraphs, De La Rosa has a groundball rate of 53 percent and a home run-to-fly ball ratio of 11.5 percent.
The fact that he keeps the ball on the ground bodes well for him should he come to the Yankees. He's no stranger to playing in a hitter-friendly ballpark, as Coors Field certainly yields its fair share of big flies. Yankee Stadium isn't much different from a pitcher's standpoint.
I'm not so sure this is a deal that will materialize, however. The Rockies asked the Baltimore Orioles for top young arm Kevin Gausman in exchange for De La Rosa, though Baltimore quickly declined, reports Heyman.
That means the Rockies could ask for a top bat from the Yankees, or perhaps rising starter Luis Severino. Of course, Cashman should balk at those requests.
Like Kennedy, De La Rosa is a clear upgrade to this rotation. He even fits in the ballpark. That said, he definitely isn't worth a top prospect.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR