Most of us remember how the Yankees got rid of Ted Lilly (as part of the Jeff Weaver experiment), but do you remember how the Yankees ended up with Ted Lilly the first time?
I didn't, so I checked.
In 1999, when the Yankees traded the late Hideki Irabu to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Jake Westbrook, the Yankees also received a player-to-be-named-later...Ted Lilly.
Lilly has spent the past six seasons pitching in the National League, most recently for the Los Angeles Dodgers, for whom he is 7-12 with a 4.71 ERA so far this season.
Currently the Dodgers sit 11 games out of first place in the NL West and 15 games out of the NL wild card.
We can safely say at this point that they have no chance of making the playoffs—and between his age (35) and price tag—$22.5 million left on his contract, which contains a full no-trade clause for 2012 and 2013—it seems pointless for the bankrupt franchise to hold onto him, especially when they are reportedly on pace to lose nearly $30 million this season.
Lilly will soon find himself on waivers, and while his age and contract are a small concern, the Yankees could easily absorb his salary if he ended up faltering in the Bronx
He would be a less-expensive mistake than someone else that they have been tied to recently.
Until he retires, is traded to another team or Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances become full-time starters in the Yankees rotation, Wandy Rodriguez of the Houston Astros will constantly be tied to the Yankees in nearly every trade rumor he is involved in.
I am anti-Wandy, and I have been for awhile.
Yet the fact remains that Hank and Hal Steinbrenner are, for whatever reason, smitten with the 32-year-old lefty, even with the lack of interest from their baseball people, namely Brian Cashman.
Which means that if the team continues to struggle, Hank and Hal may decide that they would pick up all of the nearly $40 million still left on his contract.
Thankfully, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, the brothers Steinbrenner may not get another chance.
Not only is Rodriguez expected to hit waivers this week, but at least one NL team is expected to put in a claim, thus blocking any team in the AL from having an opportunity to acquire him.
We looked at Jeff Francis almost a week ago, and in his only start since he went seven innings against the Tampa Bay Rays, allowing five hits and four earned runs while striking out four in a 4-0 Kansas City Royals loss.
The four runs were all driven in by Evan Longoria, one of the best up-and-coming players in the game.
Expected to be placed on waivers by the Royals, the 30-year-old lefty figures to remain an inexpensive, attractive option for the Yankees.
A free agent at the end of this season, there is a pretty good chance that 32-year-old righty Jeremy Guthrie will look to re-sign with the Baltimore Orioles and manager Buck Showalter.
If the Orioles have had an "ace" over the past five seasons, it's been Guthrie, who this year leads the league in losses with a 5-15 record, 4.38 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.
For his career in the AL East, Guthrie is 43-63 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
Being that it's the Orioles and Peter Angelos involved, they may ask for too much in return from a division rival, but if the price is reasonable—say a mid-level prospect or two—Guthrie's experience pitching in the division and knowledge of AL hitters could prove valuable for the Yankees down the stretch.
Since last we checked in on Jake Peavy, the 30-year-old went out and had his best game of the season, throwing eight shutout innings of three-hit ball against the Minnesota Twins, walking none while striking out six.
If the White Sox fall out of the race, expect Peavy and his pricey contract to hit the waiver wire and the Yankees to at least check in with White Sox GM Kenny Williams on what his asking price is.
Almost acquired by the Boston Red Sox prior to the trade deadline only to see the deal fall apart because the Red Sox doctors had concerns about Harden's health, the 29-year old righty has made two starts, going 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 13.2 innings, walking only five while striking out 15.
Harden could help the Yankees, but if he hits waivers, expect the Yankees to submit a claim on him if for no other reason then to keep him away from the Red Sox.
The Washington Nationals aren't going anywhere and Chien-Ming Wang becomes a free agent that would net the team absolutely no compensation were he to leave, so I expect his name would hit the waiver wire.
Why wouldn't the Yankees take a shot on him?
He's seemingly healthy since returning from shoulder surgery and has a history of success pitching with the Yankees and in the AL East—in 2006 and 2007, Wang was the ace of the Yankees pitching staff, going a combined 38-13 with a 3.67 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
This year for the Nationals, in three starts, Wang is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA and 1.33 WHIP over 16 innings.
Only 31-years-old, the righty could be a game-changer down the stretch run if he truly is back to full health.
At the end of the day, the Yankees will be looking to improve their own chances while also trying to keep the Red Sox from improving their own.
Chances are that any player that you hear the Red Sox are rumored to be interested in, the Yankees are probably looking at them as well.
Of all the pitchers named here, Chien-Ming Wang intrigues me the most, though he's also probably the most unlikely.
What say you?
Does anyone on this list pique your interest?
Is there a pitcher you expect to be on waivers that would be a better option for the Yanks?
Let's talk about it in comments.