Originally posted on MLB Buzz  |  Last updated 7/3/12
The facts, as far as the Yankees’ rotation is concerned, are these: • Left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte are injured. • Veteran right-hander Freddy Garcia and rookie righty David Phelps are two of the current starters. • The Cubs are willing to trade righty Matt Garza, the Phillies are calling teams about lefty Cole Hamels and the Brewers are moving closer to listening on righty Zack Greinke. Will the Yankees move on any of those pitchers? Not necessarily, according to major-league sources. But the non-waiver deadline is July 31, and things can change over the next four weeks. Greinke, sources say, is a non-starter for the Yankees — he missed time due to depression and social anxiety disorder in 2006, and club officials always are concerned about how players will adjust to New York. Hamels, who has spent his entire career in Philadelphia, likely would be a better fit. But Hamels, like Grienke is a free agent at the end of the season. The acquisition cost for him would be high, and the Yankees might view him only as a rental, given their desire to be under the $189 million luxury-tax threshold by 2014. Garza would appear the most realistic possibility — sources say the Yankees like him, he has a history of success in the AL East and he is under club control through 2013. But the Cubs only will trade Garza if they get the desired return — and their asking price is said to be steep. Most of the Yankees’ better prospects are in the low minors, according to rival clubs. Such players likely would intrigue the Cubs, who are rebuilding. But other teams might want youngsters who are closer to the majors. For now, the Yankees are in a wait-and-see mode — Pettitte likely is out until September, but Sabathia is expected back after the All-Star break. The team’s position in the standings also could influence its strategy. The Yankees entered Tuesday with the largest lead of any first-place club — six games. A push by the Red Sox, who clearly are in the market for rotation help, also could compel the Yankees to act. The incentive to win the division is greater due to the addition of a second wild card this season. The division winner advances directly to the Division Series. The wild-card teams play a one-game elimination. The Yankees visit the Red Sox for four games this weekend.
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