The Yankees started the second half of the 2010 season with some bad luck.
In Saturday's game against the Rays, A.J. Burnett slammed his hands against a door, which cut them up and forced an early exit from the game. He has said he won't miss a turn, but whether or not he will be able to pitch effectively has yet to be determined.
Then on Sunday's game against the Rays, Andy Pettitte threw a pitch against Kelly Shoppach and came up holding his groin. After trying to convince Joe Girardi and Gene Monahan that he was fine and attempted to throw pitches, the pain in his groin was evident again when he keeled over in pain.
An MRI showed that Pettitte had a strained left groin and would miss about four to five weeks and would be placed on the disabled list.
So now, without Pettitte for about a month and with Burnett's issues, plus with the fact that Phil Hughes is on an innings limit, the starting pitching staff is looking at some trouble.
Now, if the Yankees had completed the deal for Cliff Lee a week ago, the Pettitte injury and Burnett issues wouldn't be such a big deal. But Lee is not a Yankee, so it is a big deal. If the Yankees want to hold onto their lead in the highly competitive A.L. East division race, they need to do something.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman has a few options he can turn to on the trade market.
Now before we get into those, anyone is in favor of solving this issue internally is crazy. The last time the Yankees tried to solve the pitching situation internally was 2008 by trying to convert Joba Chamberlain into a starter, adding Sidney Ponson for what seemed like the 10th time, calling up Darrell Rasner and Dan Giese, and having Carl Pavano come off the DL for the final month of the season.
How did that work out for the Yankees? Ponson flat out stunk, again, Rasner and Giese weren't that great either, Joba hurt himself in August against Texas and hasn't been the same pitcher since the injury, and nobody really cared about Pavano coming back or not because he was so hated by the Yankee faithful.
Oh, and the Yankees also missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. So solving it internally didn't work then, and I don't think it would work now.
Which means this: Sergio Mitre is not the answer. Chad Gaudin is not the answer. Ivan Nova is not the answer. Dustin Moseley is not the answer. And no, Joba Chamberlain is still not the answer. That ship has sailed.
The Yankees need to make a move, and they need to make it now. There is less than two weeks until the July 31st trading deadline and with other teams possibly looking to add to their roster, the Yankees need to add a pitcher.
So, without Lee now, who is the best available?
First, there is the Diamondbacks Dan Haren, who is currently 7-8 with a 4.60 ERA and 133 strikeouts.
Haren has experience pitching in the American League when he was a member of the Oakland A's before getting dealt to Arizona in 2008. If you put Haren on any other team, Haren is likely 11-5 rather than 7-8, but Arizona sucks, so what do you expect.
The Yankees saw Haren last month during inter-league play and he gave the Yankees a fit on the mound before the Arizona bullpen got lit up.
He's on hook for another two years and about $12.5 million per season, but the Yankees are one of those teams who can add payroll.
Then there is Roy Oswalt of the Astros, who is 6-11 with a 3.12 ERA and 117 strikeouts.
Oswalt has been hit even harder by being on a lousy team in Houston. He's been a career Astro, but a lot of people expect him to get moved.
The only concern is that Oswalt has never pitched in the American League and especially in a big market like New York. How would he handle a major move like that? Would he be able to handle pitching against American League lineups?
Oswalt did say that he would approve a trade to the Yankees, as was reported in June when the Astros were in New York and got swept by the Yankees during inter-league play.
Finally, there is Ted Lilly of the Cubs, who is 3-8 with a 4.07 ERA and 75 strikeouts.
Lilly was once a product of the Yankees farm system and was on the 2002 team before getting traded to the Oakland A's in the deal that brought in Jeff Weaver.
Lilly nearly came back to the Yankees and wanted to sign with them before the 2007 season, but the Yankees signed Kei Igawa instead and Lilly went to the Cubs.
What a mistake that was.
Lilly is one of the few left handers on the trade market, so that will only help his case to get out of Chicago. The Cubs have not been good in 2010, so Lilly, like Haren and Oswalt, is hit with bad luck on his record.
Personally, I'd choose Haren first out of the three, but I'm sure he would cost the most to acquire and I'd expect Jesus Montero's name to be asked for in a deal for Haren.
I know a lot of people on here were very high on Oswalt, but again, I'm not sold on him. I see him being a career National League pitcher who stays in his comfort zone. But I did like the fact that he said he would pitch for the Yankees.
I wouldn't mind Lilly. Ne's got experience and he's another lefty, plus he probably would love the idea of pitching with the Yankees again.
It seems like most experts are claiming that the Yankees are prioritizing bullpen and bench help, but given what has happened, starting pitching needs to be moved to priority number one. When it comes to being a playoff team that wins, you can never have enough good starting pitching and this is no exception.
If the Yankees want to repeat as division, league, and World Series champions, they need to add another good arm to that rotation.
I now leave it open to the Bleacher Report Community to discuss this issue and throw out ideas. Would you want Haren, Oswalt or Lilly? Or is there someone else I missed that you prefer? Here is the place to discuss that.
One thing is for certain, the Yankees need to act now. The clock is ticking fast to July 31.
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