With more than 100 games still to go in the season, Yankees fans need only to look at tonight’s starting pitching match-up to recognize their team’s biggest weakness. While the rival Boston Red Sox are sending Jon Lester to the hill, the Yankees will counter with Freddy Garcia.
Although one of the keys to the Yankees success this season has come in the form of pleasant surprises from Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, they cannot be relied on for the same kind of production for the rest of the season. At 4-4, Garcia has already pitched well above his pay-grade, while Colon has been dazzling considering he wasn’t even in baseball last season. That said, everything they have given the Yankees thus far must be considered a bonus, and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman will be looking for a starting pitcher to add before the trade deadline.
For that reason, the future is uncertain for Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain, all potential trade pieces as the Yankees inch closer to the July 31 deadline.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, there is a scarcity of starting pitching available this year and so Cashman will likely have to buy at a premium. In addition, of the Yankees who Cashman could realistically trade, only Martin has had a year which has inflated his trade value. If the Yankees are not willing to part with him, they will likely have to dip into their farm system to get a quality arm in return.
Cashman, who has only traded one blue-chip prospect in the last five years (Austin Jackson), will be reluctant to shake up the minor leagues too much this year in pursuit of a starting pitcher. So with that said, here’s a look at five guys the Yanks definitely will not get rid of in the coming weeks.