Via Mike Puma -
Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s list of naughty and nice still includes a few starting pitchers in the latter category.
With his everyday lineup for 2010 set, Cashman has turned attention to the rotation, and will almost certainly add a starter by New Year’s, according to a major league source.
Cashman is believed to have inquired about Carlos Zambrano, but with the Cubs’ asking price high for the 28-year-old right-hander — who is coming off an injury-plagued 2009 — it’s more probable the Yankees will go the free-agent route.
That means selecting from a pool that includes Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro and Ben Sheets, any of whom would slot behind CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte in the Yankees’ rotation.
The increased sense of urgency to add pitching depth comes after the Red Sox last week signed John Lackey to a five-year contract worth $82.5 million and added him to a rotation that includes Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.
Adding another starter would allow the Yankees to keep Phil Hughes in the bullpen next season or have him assume the fifth spot in the rotation with Joba Chamberlain reclaiming a bullpen role.
Betcha it’s Ben Sheets. He’s been on Cashman’s radar for a long time.