Coming into the 2011 season with a mediocre starting rotation, the New York Yankees alleviated worries by presenting a top-notch bullpen filled with dominance and reliability.
Unfortunately, their key to victory has failed, as relievers Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano and Joba Chamberlain are each suffering from season ending injuries, leaving the Yankees with a bullpen vacant of reliable aid.
As their starting rotation has exceeded expectations, especially with surprises Bartolo Colonand Freddy Garcia pitching the Yankees to victory, the team has unfortunately hit another bump in the road. Due to a hamstring injury savior Bartolo Colon has joined starting pitcherPhil Hughes on the disabled list.
With July 31st quickly approaching, the New York Yankees are in dire need of relief pitchers to assist Mariano Rivera and David Robertson as they continue to deliver for the Yankees. The bombers are also in need of a starting pitcher who can aid the rotation if injury continues to strike.
Here are seven players that the New York Yankees will be aiming for at the trade deadline.
With a struggling bullpen, Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon out due to injury and suspicions that Colon and Garcia may return to their unreliable pitching ways, the Yankees should be trying to attain Jeremy Guthrie, a pitcher who can secure their already dominate rotation.
Last in the AL East standings, the Baltimore Orioles are unfortunately holding Guthrie back, as his consistency all season has only partially helped the struggling team.
With a 3.77 ERA Guthrie has struck out 54 hitters, allowing 42 runs and 12 home runs in 86 innings pitched.
Joining the Yankees will not only benefit Guthrie, giving him more of a chance to advance to the playoffs, but the Yankees as well. Having a pitcher experienced with pitching in the AL East will allow for a smooth transition and for Guthrie to prosper significantly as a player.
After I completely dismissed the idea of the Yankees trying to attain Seattle Mariner Erik Bedard in a recent article, the injuries of Joba Chamberlain and Bartolo Colon have led me to contemplate, maybe trying to attain Bedard is not such a bad idea after all...
Yes, Bedard is prone to injury and has been his entire eight year career. He suffered from injuries in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2010, which forced the pitcher to miss parts of and at times entire seasons. However, if Bedard can remain healthy until the end of the 2011 season, then he would be an ideal short-term starting pitcher.
After all, with the Seattle Mariners holding on tightly to King Felix, there may not be many starting pitchers to choose from when the trade deadline rolls around.
So far this season, Bedard has remained consistent for his team, posting a 3.47 ERA in 70 innings pitched. The veteran allowed 31 runs, nine home runs and has 65 strike outs.
Like I said, if the Yankees starting rotation continues to be plagued with injuries then having Bedard there wouldn't be a bad idea.
When healthy Bedard is an ace and at the moment, he is as healthy as he can be.
With the Yankee bullpen plagued of injuries, attaining Balfour would be ideal, as the Yankees certainly need a reliever who can set up games for Mariano Rivera and end them as well.
Eight years as a reliever, Balfour has experience pitching in the American League, which can help him adapt to his new environment easily.
Aware and experienced against his opponents, Balfour is a reliever worth trading for.
I did not want Kerry Wood to leave the New York Yankees last season. Who would? After recording a 0.69 ERA for the 2010 season and a 1.50 ERA in the ALCS against the Texas Rangers, Wood was the key to the Yankees advancing to the ALCS.
Their decision to let the reliever go back to the Chicago Cubs and to instead acquire Rafael Soriano for a ridiculous three-year $35 million contract certainly had the Yankees regretting their careless decision.
So far this season, Wood has posted a 2.25 ERA in 24 innings pitched, allowing only 10 runs and two home runs.
Yes, this does sound a bit unrealistic since Wood was thrilled to return a team he had spent 10 years with previously. However, is staying with the Cubs really the best for Wood? At the moment the Cubs are fifth in the standings with barely any light at the end of the tunnel to make it to first.
Before Wood came onto the Yankees he maintained a 6.30 ERA with the Cleveland Indians. His season did not begin to prosper until he joined the Yankees, pitching phenomenally.
Although his heart may be in Chicago, the Yankees should try to make a trade for Wood. After all, if pitching for the Yankees is where he pitches at his best, then why not come back?
Despite the fact that the Yankees are in desperate need of a reliable reliever who can aid and setup for Rivera, trading for a starting pitcher who can secure the Yankees dominant starting rotation can help the Yankees remain ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the standings.
Gio Gonzalez has been on the Oakland Athletics for four years and is pitching the best season of his career. With a 2.67 ERA in 81 innings pitched, the starter has allowed only 29 runs, six home runs and has struck out 72 at bat.
At only 25 years old, Gonzalez has a long career ahead of him. He would be a major contribution to the Yankees, especially after coming off of a 3.23 ERA last season.
In last place, the Athletics may want to hold on tightly to their star pitcher. Despite this, the Yankees should try everything possible to attain him.
It is understandable why the Minnesota Twins would be reluctant to trade Glen Perkins to the Yankees. After all, he is one of their best players this season, recording an impressive 1.59 ERA in 22.2 innings pitched for the struggling team. This season Perkins has allowed only five runs and no home runs with 22 strike outs.
Currently in last place with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers vying for first, it would make sense for the Twins to hold onto their prized reliever. However, the Twins are in desperate need of aid and trading Perkins for a player who can help them advance in the standings would be a smart move.
Hopefully some sort of trade for Perkins can be made.
At the moment, the New York Mets are in fourth place in the NL East. With their always reliable K-Rod on the mound, the Mets hope to advance and possibly make it to the playoffs. However, the Mets are suffering from financial difficulties at the moment and trading their star reliever to the Yankees would be the best decision for both teams.
Not only will K-Rod aid the Yankees tremendously in the bullpen, but also the Mets will not have the financial burden of paying him a $17.5 million salary if they were to trade him onto the Yankees.
Pitching a 2.90 ERA so far this season with 34 strikeouts, K-Rod has allowed only 10 runs and two home runs in 31 innings pitched. Throughout his 10 season career he has done nothing but remain powerful, rarely entering any pitching slumps.
Although the Yankees and Mets rarely help each other out, the trade would benefit both the Yankees bullpen and the Mets financially.
Sounds like a win-win trade to me.