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Around the Yankee Universe: Talkin' trades

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So, with Chien-Ming Wang apparently useless to the New York Yankees for the rest of the season (as if he has been useful up to now, anyway), it is becoming pretty obvious the team will seek to bolster its pitching staff via the trade market.

With the trade deadline a few days away, let's see what's cookin'.

Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman is well aware that his starting pitching depth is paper thin.

"When we made the decisions that we've made so far, they were tough decisions with consequences," Cashman said on Thursday. "We're better because of those moves, but we're thinner."

Here is a little more from that article.

Cashman said that if another starting pitcher went down, his internal choices would include Kei Igawa and Ivan Nova, neither of whom would prompt the Yankees to rush into a transaction. So Cashman said the Yankees would instead tweak their current Major League roster.

"Right now, if we didn't do anything and we had another problem, we'd be taking Hughes or Aceves out of the bullpen and into the rotation," Cashman said. "It's as simple as that. That's been talked about internally and externally.

The desire to hold Joba Chamberlain to an innings limit complicates the picture.

Cashman would not say what the limit is, only that the plan has not changed since spring training. The Yankees expect Chamberlain to stay in the rotation through the end of the regular season, but his innings will be held down.

"As time goes on, we’re going to watch him, just to see how he’s physically doing," Girardi said, adding later, "He’s really never approached 200 innings."

Every contender, of course, is looking for pitching. Cashman is apparently looking for depth, not a front-line type, and knows it won't be easy to find.

"It’s hard to do," Cashman said. "I mean, who’s going to give you a quality starter that you can option to Triple A? Nobody. So it’s either that or most likely trade for somebody that goes right in your rotation, and that’s not realistic."

The Yankees do have a quality farm system from which they can deal.

"It wasn't too long ago that people complained we didn't have anything in our system, and I had talked about we were pitching-rich and we had position players who were young and further away," Cashman said earlier this week. "Well, those position players are starting to pop."

If the Yankees need another starter, it may well be Aceves. With that in mind, one blogger wonders why the Yankees didn't pursue recently-traded reliever Rafael Betancourt more aggressively.

I have no idea what will happen, though I suspect a veteran reliever would be easier to get than a starter. It will, however, be interesting to watch it play out.