The New York Yankees are in trouble, no denying that. The Boston Red Sox have flown past them this winter, and the Yankees' inability to lure free-agent ace Cliff Lee with a colossal seven-year contract offer leave them hurting badly for starting pitching.
Zack Greinke, the second-best available pitcher and current ace of the Kansas City Royals, seems to be on their radar screen.
Assuming that the Royals do not lessen their sky-high price tag for Greinke, though, the Yankees are hardly in the right position to make a deal.
It would probably take Jesus Montero (whom the organization does not want to trade), Joba Chamberlain and another prospect to get the deal done, and Greinke has the right to reject a trade to New York if he so chooses.
Therefore, though Greinke remains the best option on the market, the Yankees need to have multiple contingency plans in place. They currently have only three established big-league starting pitchers on their staff, though Ivan Nova is a fine fill for the back end of the rotation.
Read on for five guys GM Brian Cashman would do well to try and pry away from their current squads between now and Opening Day 2011, along with the pros and cons of acquiring each hurler.