MLB Rumors: Should the Yankees Look Into Trading for Chris Carpenter?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IDecember 17, 2010

ST. LOUIS - AUGUST 21: Starter Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the San Francisco Giants at Busch Stadium on August 21, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Yankees have a strong need for a starting pitching.

They lost out on Cliff Lee.

Andy Pettitte is undecided about retiring or coming back for one season.

I've thrown out suggestions like Brandon Webb and Carlos Zambrano.

The Yankees are rumored to not be interested in Webb, and a trade for Zambrano is unlikely because he has a full no-trade clause.

So if those options are out, they need to get a little creative.

Now, some of you have told me on here that the Yankees should just go as is, meaning Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre as the 4th and 5th starters in 2011.

So meaning CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes as the only dependable starters with an inconsistent A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova and a god-awful Sergio Mitre.

Honestly, do you all feel comfortable going into 2011 with that rotation and up against the American League? I for one, do not.

Now, I'm going to throw out another name and suggestion here. It may seem off the wall, but I'm putting it in our suggestion box of stories here.

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Why don't the Yankees look into exploring a trade for St. Louis Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter?

Now, as far as I know, he's not on the trading block for St. Louis and he is part of their 1-2 punch with Adam Wainwright. So, why would St. Louis even consider trading him?

Here's why they might consider it.

Carpenter is set to make about $15 million in 2011 and the Cardinals have a team option on him for 2012 with a $1 million buyout.

Albert Pujols is set to hit the free agent market after the 2011 season and the Cardinals are desperate to lock him up before that ever happens.

Pujols is the Cardinals franchise player and it would be devastating if they lost him, so right now, St. Louis is probably looking to scratch and save every bit of money they can to give Pujols a contract.

If Pujols really wants to, he could ask for Alex Rodriguez money, which would be about $27-31 million per season. And if he wants to, he's entitled to because he's the best player in the game right now.

So if St. Louis needs to dump a contract here and there to ensure they have enough money to keep Pujols incase he doesn't give the Cardinals a hometown discount, Carpenter's contract might be an attractive one to unload.

Carpenter is a bit older, as he will turn 36 in 2011, and he's had some past issues with injuries, missing time in 2007 and 2008, plus missing the entire 2003 season.

But he has stayed healthy in 2009 and 2010 and was the runner up for the 2009 National League Cy Young Award to Tim Lincecum.

We wouldn't be talking a long-term deal here for the Yankees. We're talking at least 2011 and maybe even 2012, pending on how their pitching prospects have developed.

Carpenter still has good enough stuff to dominate in the game, and would be a pretty good 1-2 combination with Sabathia at the top of the rotation.

Normally the Cardinals don't seem like a team who would sell off their players like other teams would, but they've got Wainwright, plus Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook in their rotation, so it's not like they would be completely hurt without Carpenter.

To me, I really think the Yankees are going to explore all of the trade market and find the best possible situation for them without selling off their farm system, of course. Those days seem to be over.

I'm not sure what St. Louis would be looking for in a deal for Carpenter, but if I am Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, I definitely explore the possibility of what it would take to get Carpenter.

I don't think Carpenter would be afraid of the big lights and bright spotlight of New York, as he did perform very well in the 2006 NLCS against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium and then again in the grandest stage of all in the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers.

So now I will leave this topic up for discussion. Should the Yankees look into a trade for Carpenter? Would he be a good fit for the Bronx?

Will the Yankees even consider this type of trade? Time will tell.