MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Starters NY Yankees Can Pursue If They Whiff on Cliff Lee

Christopher ChavezAnalyst IIOctober 10, 2010

MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Starters NY Yankees Can Pursue If They Whiff on Cliff Lee

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    The New York Yankees have advanced to the ALCS this year and made themselves known as a team that can win year in and year out. The Yankees could wrap up the season with another World Series win or a loss to whomever they have to play in the ALCS.

    Either way, the Yankees already have the reputation of going hard in the offseason for some of the top of the line players on the market. This year the focus may be on pitching. That is where Cliff Lee's name comes in. But here is a scenario; What if the Yankees wiff on Lee?

    Here are the next best 

10. Pedro Martinez

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    Who knows how much Pedro Martinez has left in the arm that he once had? Last year with the Phillies, Pedro Martinez was spectacular and surprising. He showed that there was till some ammo in the cannon. He may have taken this year off, but Martinez has said that he could return to the Major Leagues. 

    Yankee fans may have never been fans of Pedro Martinez and he may have never been a fan of the Bronx Bombers, but things could always change.

    There are many critics willing to bet that the Yankees could have received more production from Martinez than they did from Javier Vasquez in 2010. Joe Girardi and some of the coaches have openly said that Vasquez has a dead arm. 

    The Yankees may have a slot open once they let Vasquez go and why not upgrade. The move could be made all depending on how Martinez pitches in the offseason, possibly for a Dominican team. 

    Never say Never.

9. Dontrelle Willis

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    Willis is finally coming off the books for the Tigers. The Yankees may want to sign him to a minor league deal and experiment to see how he fares. Willis has been pretty bad the last few years, but what happens if he finally get it right. 

    Yes, that sees like it could take a while, but some close work with Dave Eiland may help. This is a toss-uo and much like the Pedro Martinez signing the Yankees would be going out on a limb to sign him. 

    It's either Pedro Martinez (who has not pitched for a year) or Willis (who has pitched badly for a year)?

8. Jaime Moyer

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    At this point, signing Jaime Moyer to a contract would be like signing a coach. When will Father Time catch up to this old geezer?

    The Yankees could give him a one-year deal in hopes that he can actually pitch well and eat up some innings. Andy Pettitte would not have anything to complain about in regards to age and performance. 

    Moyer would serve as a reliever or starter if the Yankees wanted at any time. He could serve as a mentor or coach in a way to young guns like Ivan Nova. Signing Moyer would be for a spot starts and experience from him. 

    Hands down, he has performed better than Dontrelle Willis or Javier Vasquez in the past few years. 

6 and 7: Justin Duchscherer and Rich Harden

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    Justin Duchscherer and Rich Harden have the potential to be front of the rotation starters. The only problem is that they are injury prone most of the time. Duchscherer was an All-Star a few years back and carried the A's. 

    Rich Harden has always been an odd pitcher. The potential is there, but there are rough outings for him time and time again. Eventually an injury will come up and sideline him. The Yankees could use the type of numbers that he put up when he was with the A's.

    Those were the good years for both of these two pitchers. When they hit the market this off-season, if the Yankees make the right moves and put the right amount of money on the table, these additions could be bargains. 

5. Jake Westbrook

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    Westbrook was once a Yankee. Then he was a Yankee killer when he was with the Indians. Could there be a reunion in the future for one of the lost prospects of Yankees history?

    Westbrook has pitched well the last few years. He is nothing close to Cliff Lee, but he is productive. The Yankees may have an edge in signing him with CC Sabathia, a former teammate, on the roster. 

    Westbrook could be a middle to back end of the rotation type of pitcher. He has come through in the clutch in the past and can eat up innings when necessary. The Yankees don't really need an ace and Westbrook could be suitable for a replacement for someone like Vasquez. 

4. Ted Lilly

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    The Yankees have not been that great with player reunions, but how about bringing back Ted Lilly? This one is a toss up. He would be higher up on the list, if he had been in the American League the last few years and put up the same numbers. 

    The Yankees would be pulling a Javier Vasquez type move by bringing him back. He's a dominant National League pitcher that may or may not fare well in the Yankees rotation. The Yankees would have to use him as a back-end of the rotation type of pitcher. 

3. Jorge De La Rosa

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    De La Rosa needs a change of scenery and soon. That is why the Yankees may be a nice move for him. De La Rosa is better on the road than at Coors Field. The ball flies out of Coors Field and the problems at Yankee Stadium seem to have been fixed. 

    The home field change could immediately be evident in how he would pitch at home. De La Rosa is economical and would look great in pinstripes. The Yankees could stick him in as their 3rd starter behind CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes. 

    De La Rosa is going to be quiet move, but a hot commodity for the team that picks him up, unless it is the Rockies again. 

2. Yu Darvish

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    Here's what I wrote about Darvish when I reported on Bleacher Report that the Yankees are in on Yu Darvish's sweepstakes:

    "Any surprise that the Yankees are in on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes? The Yankees have been in on the Japanese pitcher from the start of the 2009 World Baseball Classic or even the 2008 Olympics. The Yankees have the money and the space for him on the team.

    AJ Burnett has not been performing at such a high level and could be dealt in the winter or worked closely with. The Yankees may not ask Javier Vasquez to return next year due to his "dead arm." The Yankees could sign Yu Darvish to join the middle of the rotation. 

    A projected rotation with Yu Darvish could look like this:

    1- CC Sabathia

    2- Phil Hughes

    3- Yu Darvish 

    4- AJ Burnett

    5- Andy Pettitte

    The Yankees have the money so anything could be possible as they make a bid for him. Right out of the gates they have to be considered the favorites to land Darvish in pinstripes"

    The Yankees are getting a pitcher here that would make many forget about Kei Igawa and the Daisuke Matsuzaka loss. Darvish has proven himself in the World Baseball Classic and in many outings in Japan. He is Major League ready.  

1. Brandon Webb

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    A former Cy Young award winner is out there on the market and is quietly being looked at. 21 teams have sent scouts to check out Webb in the instructional league. 

    Webb is rehabbing after missing just about most of the action with the Diamondbacks in 2010. He is throwing a few pitches at a time before returning to top form, but the interest in Webb shows that many do not expect him to falter after the injury. 

    The Yankees and Red Sox have interest in Brandon Webb. The Yankees may want to get Webb before the Red Sox do in order to block them from getting stronger. Webb may demand a medium priced contract, but with the upside he is worth it.