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MLB trade rumors: Yankees interested in trading Ivan Nova

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

If there's one thing the 2016 Yankees could use it's starting pitching. They might have at least six major league starters on their roster right now, but with the alternatives on the open market, they could really go for an upgrade. In order to clear some space and make an addition, the Yankees are interested in trading away Ivan Nova to whomever is interested.

The answer is likely nobody, but the Yankees are interested nonetheless. In his first season back from Tommy John surgery, Nova had a dismal 5.07 ERA and a 4.87 FIP in 94 innings after returning in late June. They put a lot of weight on his return in 2015, despite going into the season with a rotation full of questions. It seemed unreasonable at the time to expect Nova to alleviate any of those concerns, and that turned out to be the case. Still, the Yankees are optimistic about trading the right-hander, who they are stuck with for another season before he finally hits free agency. According to Joel Sherman, they're really laying it on thick:

They are pitching that he will be stronger and healthier another year removed from his 2014 Tommy John surgery. They are saying he will be a motivated pitcher in his walk year.

They owe him $4.5 million, which is a lot of money for someone who has struggled so badly, but it could be a substantial discount for a team that needs to search the open market for a starting pitcher. Pinstripe Alley was quite literally unable to give away Nova in our SB Nation offseason simulation after we decided not to non-tender him. It seems to make more sense to dump him, but if the real live team wants to give it a shot, they can go right ahead

Even if they trade Nova, the team still has a full rotation with Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Luis Severino, Nathan Eovaldi, and CC Sabathia all on hand. Perhaps they could trade one of Pineda or Eovaldi before the season, but it wouldn't make much sense to spend a ton of money on another option with five starting pitchers still on the roster. The team's rotation is in serious need of a makeover and it seems that moving Nova could be the first step.

The Yankees are sounding pretty desperate right now, and if they still plan to tender Nova a contract, it means they don't want to add anyone until they've gotten rid of him. If that's what's stopping them from adding someone then the Yankees probably have other things to worry about than just what happens to Ivan Nova.