Today, Jon Heman of SI reported that the New York Yankees tried to trade for Ricky Nolasco of the Florida Marlins. Even though the team failed in doing so, this attempt at a trade shows the Yankees concern with starting pitching and desire to acquire it on the market.
Anibal Sanchez of the Marlins could be an option out there for the Yankees. He has pitched to a 3.60 ERA this season and could be acquired for a fairly low price, in terms of prospects. The Yankees have already communicated with the Marlins about Nolasco, so maybe by the deadline Sanchez could be made available. The only reason there is to suggest otherwise is that the Marlins are opening up a new stadium next season and would want to market it with the biggest names, one of which is Sanchez.
John Danks, the Chicago White Sox starter I wrote about in a past article, is another interesting trade option for the Yankees. Danks has had a solid season, pitching to a 3.92 ERA after a horrendous start to the season. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that John Danks is on the market and could be traded by the White Sox, who have established themselves as sellers this season. Chicago has already traded Edwin Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays in an eight-player deal.
Hiroki Kuroda is becoming a more likely option for the Yankees by the day. Andrew Marchand of espnnewyork.com reported yesterday that Kuroda would consider waiving his no-trade clause if he were to be dealt to the Yankees or Boston Red Sox. This has to be encouraging news, given the fact that most people considered Kuroda to be a long-shot to ever go to an East Coast team. The Red Sox, as of now, do not seem to be greatly serious about acquiring top-flight pitching help, as they have just been examining the options. This could change at the deadline, however.
Who do you most realistically see the Yankees acquiring at the deadline?
Wandy Rodriguez seemed like a long-shot at first. He has a large contract in terms of years, and is 32 years old. The Yankees had seemed reluctant in talking about Rodriguez and moved onto other options instead. Things have changed since, though, as the Yankees and Red Sox both scouted Wandy Rodriguez this past weekend. The Houston Astros are actively shopping Rodriguez. Jon Heyman reported that the price for Wandy could go down by the deadline and that the Astros might have to pay off a significant amount of Rodriguez's contract. If this is done, the Yankees could be sparked to make a deal.
Ubaldo Jimenez is an interesting name, as the Colorado Rockies are keeping him on the market. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post reported that the "Rockies have not yet pulled Jimenez off the showroom floor." Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports adds that there could be a 50/50 chance of Jimenez being dealt, which is the greatest prediction to date. Joel Sherman of the New York Post also adds that executives around the league have a feeling that the Rockies want to find a trade for Jimenez. He also says that the asking price has come down to three of the following four prospects: Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. If the prices goes down at the deadline for Jimenez and the Rockies start to ask for two high-level prospects and some second-tier players, the Yankees could make the deal.
The Ubaldo Jimenez situation contrasts sharply from the Justin Upton situation seen this winter in Arizona. Jimenez's name continues to be on the market, and the Rockies continue to talk to other teams about trade possibilities. And, according to SI's Jon Heman, the Rockies had internal discussions about trade possibilities. In Justin Upton's case, he had been on the market for a day, with the Arizona Diamondbacks trying to evaluate what his value was by talking to almost every team in the majors.
It seems more and more likely now that the Yankees are going to make a move. We will only know for sure at the deadline. Every day the team seems closer and closer to a deal. A Hiroki Kuroda deal looks to be the most realistic for the Yankees, with a Wandy Rodriguez acquisition being a very close second. I could fairly easily see both deals taking shape.
UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports the Cincinnati Reds are now focusing more on James Shields than on Ubaldo Jimenez. They are the Yankees' main competition for Jimenez.