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New York Yankees possible trade targets: Rotation

With many big fish caught, these "smaller" options could work well in pinstripes
07/14/2014 12:20 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Could a reunion with Chien-Ming Wang help bolster the depleted Yankees rotation?(AP)
With four-fifths of the Yankees' opening day rotation now on the disabled list and none (if any) of them due back before mid-August, starting pitching will likely be the biggest facet of the team general manager Brian Cashman looks to improve before the trade deadline.

A staggering 10 different pitchers started a game for the Yankees in the first half, and while the team has already gone out and acquired Brandon McCarthy from Arizona and Jeff Francis from Oakland, it's likely that general manager Brian Cashman is still out looking to add some more pieces to the puzzle.

With perhaps the two biggest fish in the trade sea, ex-Cubs Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, already acquired by Oakland, Justin Masterson (and technically, Cliff Lee) still on the disabled list and the Rays maybe hesitant to send David Price to a division rival, Cashman may be left searching for more of an incremental upgrade than a blockbuster.

Either way, there may still be plenty of options left, including the five trade partners below.

MINNESOTA
The Twins enter the All-Star break at 44-50 overall and 6 ½ games out of a playoff spot, and while they may not have much in the way of pieces they'd want to move, they do have one in the rotation that fits the bill: RHP Kevin Correia.

Signed to a two-year, $10 million contract prior to the 2013 season, Correia is 5-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 19 starts in 2014 and 14-24 with a 4.33 ERA in 50 starts over the last two years. The numbers aren't necessarily eye-popping, but he has 11 quality starts of 19 this year and hasn't missed an outing as a Twin, and with just under $3 million left on the remainder of his deal, he could be the kind of innings-eater the Yankees will need to survive their current rotation shortage.

COLORADO
Much like the Twins, the Rockies seem out of it (40-55, 12 games out of even a wild card) and don't have much in the way of movable assets, but two of their biggest that fit the Yankees' needs are RHP Jorge De La Rosa and LHP Franklin Morales.

De La Rosa is costlier than Correia (roughly $5 million left this year) but he has more flashy better numbers - 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA in 19 starts this year - and is just a year removed from a 16-6, 3.27 in 30 starts line in 2013.

Morales, meanwhile, has just moved back into the Rockies' rotation after spending the month of June in the bullpen, and in his 13 starts this season, he is 4-4 with a 5.47 ERA. Morales might be the easier option, as he's cheaper (roughly $800k left this season), has AL East experience (played for Boston from 2011-13) and, perhaps most importantly, is left-handed - a trait that the entirety of the Yankees rotation currently lacks unless Francis is utilized as a starter in the second half.

TAMPA BAY
Being eight out in the wild card isn't necessarily a deficit the Rays can't overcome, but if Tampa is looking to pick up a cheap prospect for a somewhat expendable asset, then LHP Erik Bedard could be on the move. Bedard is 4-6 with a 4.76 ERA in 17 games/15 starts this year and has a very easy-to-absorb deal (most of the up to $2 million or so he could make is based on performance bonuses), and a trade to the Yankees would represent a homecoming of sorts for the Norwalk, CT native.

PHILADELPHIA
You may see Philadelphia and think the expensive Cliff Lee or uber-expensive Cole Hamels is in play, or even a reunion with A.J. Burnett is on the docket; however, the fourth and fifth men in the Phillies' rotation are the ones that might be the Yankees' best solutions, and that's RHPs Kyle Kendrick and Roberto Hernandez.

The former Fausto Carmona, who is on a one-year deal, is 4-8 with a 4.22 ERA in 20 games/17 starts this year, and Kendrick (who is in his last arbitration year) is 4-9 with a 4.62 ERA in 19 starts. Kendrick has about $3.75 million left due to him this year and Hernandez is slightly cheaper (about $2 million left on his base deal and up to $1.5 million in possible performance incentives, with at least half of that likely), but with Cliff Lee soon to return from the DL and youngsters Jonathan Pettibone and David Buchanan already having some extensive MLB experience, a Philly youth movement could made Hernandez and Kendrick ex-Phillies sooner rather than later.

CINCINNATI
No, folks, the Reds, who are just a game out of a wild card and two back in the NL Central, aren't going to unload any front-line starters, or even a top prospect like Tony Cingrani or David Holmberg or Josh Smith. But with a wealth of pitching depth, they may look to trade one of two others in the Triple-A rotation, both of whom are ex-Yankees: RHPs Chien-Ming Wang and Brett Marshall.

Marshall has struggled at Louisville after starting 2014 on the DL (he is 0-5 with a 10.66 ERA in eight outings/seven starts), but Wang is 8-5 with a 3.75 ERA in 19 starts and has thrown 119 1/3 innings, meaning he is averaging just over six innings per outing. Wang also had extended time in MLB last season after leaving the Yankees' Triple-A squad, and hey, you never know what could happen.

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