The Yankees would like to acquire another starting pitcher this winter. Now that the best of the weak free agent class have signed, the names most often linked to them are Ben Sheets and Justin Duchscherer, former aces who are rehabbing from injuries.
A trade is also an option, and the events of the past week could make the Chicago Cubs a potential trading partner. The Cubs, who dealt outfielder Milton Bradley to the Seattle Mariners for starter Carlos Silva, are now looking for a center fielder. They could be interested in either Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner, who could be expendable after the Yankees traded for Curtis Granderson.
Chicago GM Jim Hendry could be in contact with the Yankees about such a deal, according to a report on FoxSports.com.
“The Cubs have their holes, but one thing they have enough of is starting pitching,” one AL executive said. “There’s a lot of factors to weigh – Cabrera and Gardner fit a budget – but you could see it being a match.”
Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells are the Cubs’ top four starters. The candidates for the fifth spot are Silva, lefty Tom Gorzelanny and righty Jeff Samardzija, who also has been a reliever. Hendry has said that Silva could go to the bullpen.
The 2010 Yankees are still a work in progress. Right now their starting outfield would be Nick Swisher in right, Granderson in center and Cabrera in left. Gardner would be the fourth outfielder, and Rule V draft pick Jamie Hoffmann the fifth. And GM Brian Cashman appears very content with that.
At what point do the Yankees say to themselves: “Hmmm. Alotta teams want Brett Gardner. Maybe we should hang on to him since everyone else seems to think he’ll be a good player?”