I am hardly a fan of Joel Sherman, or the New York Post. I have to give credit where it's due, though, because today Sherman has absolutely nailed the New York Yankees' situation as the trade deadline approaches.
The Yanks believe that economic reasons will move more pitchers through waivers than ever before so that August trades are more probable. But I doubt that would include a quality arm. As of this moment, the Yanks are showing no inclination to top feed by pursuing Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee. They simply remain an organization that does not believe it should give up both top prospects and a huge salary within one trade. I don't think Jarrod Washburn will get through waivers, and he actually might be traded before Friday's deadline anyway. That could have the Yanks picking through unappetizing possibilities like a reunion with Sidney Ponson. Don't laugh, if the Mets ever do release Tim Redding, the Yanks would probably try to stash him at Triple-A. GM Brian Cashman has a belief that when you have a shortage you try to throw as much dubious material at the wall and hope that one person from that collection jumps out to help.
But I do think the Yanks have to be tempted to find some level of protection. That is why I think you see them connected with good arm/bad result Ian Snell of the Pirates, who could be stashed at Triple-A until/if needed. I think that is why they are going to watch Oakland's Justin Duchscherer throw to see if he is over injury problems. It is why they probably think about pitchers such as Toronto's Brian Tallet or Philadelphia's Chan Ho Park, who can be long men in the pen and around in case emergency starts are needed. I am sure they also are thinking if they could actually get someone such as San Diego's Heath Bell to pitch the eighth inning as a way to make removing Hughes from the pen more tolerable.
I just think the Yanks have this vulnerability that could bite them if, say, Chamberlain's shoulder bothers him again or Pettitte's elbow or Burnett remembers that he is supposed to be the untrustworthy A.J. Burnett or the experiment with Mitre is a failure.
The Yankees have to add some depth to the pitching staff. The injuries to Wang and Ian Kennedy, and the use of Alfredo Aceves and Phil Hughes in the bullpen, leave them dangerously thin in the starting rotation.
Think about this. If Chamberlain hits his innings limit and the Yankees choose to protect him rather than push him, who is the fourth playoff starter? Assuming, of course, that the Yankees get there.
It sure can't be Sergio Mitre. And it can't be Aceves, unless the Yankees fortify the bullpen so that they feel comfortable moving him into the rotation.
So, yes, the Yankees really could use a quality arm to fortify a pitching staff that simply can't take many more hits.
[UPDATE: Here is a little tidbit from Pete Abe. The Yankees appear to be focusing in on relievers as the trade deadline approaches. By beefing up the bullpen, this would enable them to transition Alfredo Aceves to the rotation if the need arises.
Given that Sergio Mitre has allowed 17 hits over 10.2 innings, there’s a good chance that need will arise. Names that have come up: Scott Downs, Heath Bell and John Grabow, The Yankees are not involved in the Roy Halladay chase. But, of course, that could change.]