New York Yankees: Mark Buehrle and 10 Possible Additions at the Trade Deadline
As the trade deadline for the 2011 season approaches, the New York Yankees "are watching everyone, focused on no one," according to Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger. Still, it's no secret that general manager Brian Cashman and the rest of the organization are looking to add pitching.
More specifically, the Yankees seem to be looking for left-handed pitchers who are only signed through 2011. Cashman is, according to Daniel Barbarisi at The Wall Street Journal, "up for the incremental upgrades, or the significant upgrades." He also goes on to say, "I'm not afraid of a waiver claim. I'm not afraid of a guy with an opt-out. I'm not afraid of a guy who all odds are against."
With Bartolo Colon, Phil Hughes, Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano all on the disabled list, the Yankees are desperate to add talent to both their starting rotation and their bullpen.
Let's see the possible additions before the trade deadline.
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The complication with Ryan Dempster is his no-trade clause, but given the fact that he's only signed through 2011, he would be a decent upgrade for the Yankees.
A right-handed pitcher from the Chicago Cubs, Dempster is having his worst season since he returned to a starting role back in 2008. He has just five wins and six losses with a 5.46 ERA in 16 starts. He also allows more than a hit per inning—101 in 92.1 innings pitched.
His stock may be a bit low right now, but he's coming off three solid seasons and could be a good addition to New York.
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Being on the Pittsburgh Pirates is never good for a pitcher's record. Despite a 3.29 ERA this season, Paul Maholm is just 3-8.
Although he walks 3.2 batters per nine innings, Maholm has allowed just 77 hits in 95.2 innings this season.
In addition, he's a lefty and becomes a free agent at the end of the season, making him a great fit for the New York Yankees.
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Francisco Liriano may have a fairly high ERA at 4.59, although he does pitch in the AL.
The lefty from the Minnesota Twins holds a 4-6 record this season, and his one-year, $4.3 million contract only leaves him signed until the end of the season.
The Twins are currently sitting in fourth place in the AL Central, so trading Liriano is quite plausible.
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There are conflicting reports of the New York Yankees' interest in Carlos Zambrano, but either way, he'd be a big addition to their starting rotation.
He currently holds a 5-4 record with a 4.59 ERA, although his career 121-78 record and 3.56 ERA show that he is capable of better numbers. He's also never finished a season with a ERA of four or higher since he began starting for the Cubs in 2002 at the age of 21.
It would be a shame to take his bat away from the NL, though.
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Jeff Francis, along with several of the pitchers on this list, would be included in Cashman's incremental upgrade category. He fills both the lefty and free agent at the end of the season description the Yankees would prefer as well.
Currently signed with the Royals—which also doesn't help one's record—Francis is 3-7 with a 4.83 ERA. His career totals show that's about average for his ERA, and he's usually a .500 pitcher. He also lets a lot of men on base, as he holds a 1.456 WHIP.
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Although Aaron Harang is a righty, his impressive 7-2 record and 3.71 ERA this season may make him appealing to the New York Yankees. His contract will also run out at the end of the season.
The struggling San Diego Padres are also firmly in last place in the National League West at the moment, so letting go of Harang may not be so difficult.
Although he has a career record of just 88 wins and 89 losses, he could be a helpful addition to New York for the remainder of the season.
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One of the older veterans on this list, Ted Lilly is in his 13th season and playing for his sixth different team. He is currently putting together a decent season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, amassing a 5-6 record with a 4.26 ERA.
Lilly is a lefty, but he's signed through 2013. He also played for the Yankees for three seasons a decade ago, where he only managed to go 8-12 with a 4.65 ERA.
While Lilly has spent nearly equal time in the AL and NL, his ERA and win percentage are substantially better in the National League.
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With the Washington Nationals potentially losing both Jason Marquis and Livan Hernandez at the end of the season, they may look to deal one of them. For the New York Yankees, Marquis would be the more enticing deal.
Marquis is a bit younger at 32 and has put together an impressive season thus far to compensate for his lackluster 2010. He's currently 7-2 with a 3.86 ERA. He is a right-handed pitcher, but he does become a free agent at the end of the season.
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Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros is having an extremely impressive season thus far. He currently is 5-3 with a 2.88 ERA.
He's a lefty, which the Yankees need, but he is signed through 2013, which could make him less appealing to Brian Cashman. The Astros also believe he is an ace and expect a lot in exchange for him.
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One of the more high-profile names on this list, Mark Buehrle has spent his entire career in the American League playing for the Chicago White Sox. In 12 seasons, he's accumulated 154 wins and 115 losses with a 3.84 ERA.
He is currently pitching very close to his career numbers this season—6-5 with a 3.75 ERA. His strikeouts per nine innings have dropped in recent seasons, however.
The White Sox are currently in third place in their division, and if they continue to fall behind, dealing Buehrle may become more likely.