MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Pitchers the NY Yankees Must Have at Deadline

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2011

MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Pitchers the NY Yankees Must Have at Deadline

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    The New York Yankees have one clear need as the July 31st trade deadline approaches: pitching.

    More specifically starting pitching.

    Somehow the Yankees have been able to get by this season with guys like Bartolo Colon and Freddie Garcia giving them 100-plus innings. While the oldies station is good for an occasionally listen, too much of it and it's time to switch stations.

    Acquiring a utility guy that can help fill the void until Alex Rodriguez returns at third base would be very beneficial as well, but it's not nearly as big a need as starting pitching.

    A team that has a bottom-less wallet and an assortment of prospects down in the minor leagues—the Yanks are capable of doing some wheelin’ and dealin’.

    As they continue in their battle for American League East supremacy with the Boston Red Sox, here are five pitchers that can be a big help for the stretch run.

5. Doug Fister- Seattle Mariners

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    Life is tough for a pitcher in the Mariners rotation and look no further than Fister to see why. Judging by his 3-11 overall record, you would assume he was due for a trip to the minor leagues.

    Then you look closer and realize he has a more than respectable 3.30 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Much better right?

    The 27-year old righty certainly isn’t going to unseat a guy like AJ Burnett—but he is more than capable of being the fourth starter for the remainder of the year and a possible option in the playoffs.

    Considering he makes $447,000—the price tag is incredible.

4. Ted Lilly- Los Angeles Dodgers

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    The 35-year old has been around the block and knows his window to win a World Series is beginning to close. That’s why he may Lilly may have already gone to Dodgers management to request a trade. Why wouldn’t the cash strapped Dodgers want to get rid of the $4M or so still remaining on his contract? It's not like the Dodgers are planing to make a postseason push.

    He is extremely attractive to the Yankees because he already knows what it takes to play for the pinstripes.

    Lilly pitched fairly well for the Bronx Bombers waaaaaay back from 2000-2002. He has been in the postseason before and won’t be letting the moment get the best of him—something that can’t be said about Ivan Nova at this point.

    No need to give up super prospect Jesus Montero in a deal like this as well.

3. Ubaldo Jimenez- Colorado Rockies

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    By now you are aware that Yankee scouts have been watching Jimenez in his last few starts and obviously is their main target.

    He has velocity that reaches the high 90’s and is the type of ground ball pitcher that is perfect for the smaller new Yankee Stadium.

    Problem is, the Rockies want an incredible amount of players in return. One scout claimed the Rockies needed a Hershel Walker type deal in order to snag the 27-year old. That is a reference to the famous 1989 deal where the Minnesota Vikings sent a ton of young guys and picks to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for the explosive Walker. This setup the Cowboy’s dynasty in the 1990’s.

    The Yankees are certainly not that desperate and are highly unlikely to succumb to such high demands. A package centered around Jesus Montero has already been shot down by the ultra picky Rockies.

2. Jeremy Guthrie- Baltimore Orioles

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    Another guy that isn’t going to single-handily make the World Series, Guthrie is a realistic option that provides value while also not forcing the Yankees to give up Jesus Montero.(Isn't that the key at this point...acquiring a starter without surrendering their super prospect).

    He has a reputable 4.35 ERA in the American League East and is making a reasonably priced $5.75M this season. He’s going to be arbitration eligible next season and should receive a raise, but he certainly won’t be getting a huge up-tick in salary for a starting pitcher that is best described as an innings eater.

    He's racked up 130.1 innings this season and has been the anchor to a less than stellar O's rotation.

    This is the best cheap option that can be a factor in the postseason. Only one player is a better fit at this point...

1. Hiroki Kuroda- LA Dodgers

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    Sure he has an unsettling 6-11 record, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Look no further than his 3.13 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. Kuroda is a guy that knows how to pitch and would be a big help for the stretch run.

    He is used to pitching with the bright lights shinning on him and can be a very marketable player for the franchise.

    The asking price wouldn’t be very high for Kuroda, and the Yanks wouldn’t be giving up an important part of the future.

    When you factor in the experience, skills and cost— Kuroda makes the most sense to end up in pinstripes. He may not be the eye-popping stop the presses guy the Yankees usually are looking to's the sensible move that makes them much better now without sacrificing the future in the process.