The American League East is going to be incredibly competitive once again this year. It appears as if the Yankees will be making a run at a starting pitcher during the MLB trade deadline to help improve their rotation.
The Yankees currently have Brian Gordon in their rotation as a result of injuries to their other starters. Even when other players such as Bartolo Colon return, the Yankees could still improve their rotation.
If you look past Maholm's 4-8 record with the Pirates this year, you will see that he is having a good season. He has a 3.21 ERA and a solid 3.69 FIP.
Adding Maholm to the back end of the Yankees rotation would be a huge boost. Maholm also has an option for the 2012 season that the Yankees could pick up if he performs well.
The Yankees have already been linked to Dempster this season. Seeing a 5.31 ERA certainly does not make it look like Dempster has had a good year.
He has been unlucky this year as he has a .334 BABIP. Dempster has an outstanding 3.39 FIP, and his ERA should move much closer to that number. The Yankees would not have to give up any top prospects to acquire Dempster.
The Houston Astros are going to be sellers at the trade deadline this year. Their best trade piece is southpaw Wandy Rodriguez, who might be the best left-handed pitcher available on the trade market.
Rodriguez is having a good year and has gone 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA. He also has a solid track record since 2008. Rodriguez is signed through 2013 and has an option for 2014, so he could help the Yankees for years to come.
Chen has never been an outstanding pitcher, but he has had some above average years. He would be a cheap rental for the Yankees, and he could also pitch out of the bullpen if needed.
Despite missing part of this season with an injury, Chen has a 4-1 record. He also has a 3.88 ERA this season. He would be a decent option for the fifth spot in the Yankees rotation.
The Padres have struggled mightily this year and will be sellers at the trade deadline. The Yankees could try to make a deal with the Padres where they would acquire both a starter as well as Heath Bell.
Harang is currently out until the All-Star break with a foot injury, but he has had an outstanding first half. He has gone 7-2 for the lowly Padres and has a 3.71 ERA. Harang would fill in at the back end of the Yankees rotation. If he pitches well, then the Yankees could choose to pick up their side of Harang's mutual option for next season.