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New York Yankees Destined to Trade for Aging Starting Pitcher

June 26th, 2014 at 4:20 PM
By Michael Moraitis

When the New York Yankees need a particular position filled, whether it be during the offseason or at the Major League Baseball trade deadline, the older, veteran players are always the most likely candidate.

There are two reasons for this.

One of them being young players don't just grow on trees. Either teams around the league have control of their players and won't give them up because they're cheap, or those young players are up and coming stars and teams understand the immense value of such a player.

The other reason is because the Yankees are ready to win now and veterans give you the best chance to do that thanks to experience. Granted, it isn't always a popular move, but the 2014 MLB trade deadline may not present any other opportunity for New York.

That's because the competition is fierce for a starting pitcher, as is always the case.

Multiple teams will be in on guys like David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays and Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs, thus obtaining those talented starters will be difficult. The Yanks also aren't helped by the fact that their farm system isn't exactly loaded as compared to other teams around baseball.

Even for a guy like Jason Hammel of the Cubs, who is thought to be a cheaper option, it won't be easy and chances are the Yanks will lose out on him, too.

Now, that's not to say the Yanks won't try. After all, they have been scouting Price heavily in recent weeks, so the interest is certainly there. How realistic their chances are is another story.

Not only will it cost some of their top prospects to get these players, but the Yanks also have to be willing to part ways with such talent. Historically, the Yanks have been willing, however it seems that is changing somewhat in recent years. And, even after a deal is done, now the Yanks are talking about making a long-term, expensive commitment to their newly acquired pitcher.

The more likely scenario is that the Yanks will take on an aging pitcher on a bad contract and absorb the money that pitcher's losing team is desperately trying to unload. In the very least, this makes the Yanks quest to find a starting pitcher much easier because not many teams can absorb cash like the "Evil Empire".

The only problem with that is the risk of an aging pitcher breaking down. Right now, realistically, the Yanks will be looking at Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies and Bronson Arroyo of the Arizona Diamondbacks as two veteran options with decent numbers that fit the mold.

Lee is coming off the disabled list with an elbow injury and Arroyo has just made his way onto the DL with an elbow injury of his own. Neither injury is a very good sign if the Yanks are looking to get much out of either starter, but there is no indication Lee or Arroyo are in any real danger.

It's that, combined with the amount of money they are making, that makes them the most attainable. Not to mention, if money becomes an issue, the Yanks could sweeten their offer for Lee with better prospects to have the Phillies pick up some of the remainder of his deal, per Jayson Stark of ESPN.

The Yankees will likely go the other route and give less in prospects and more in eating Lee's or Arroyo's contract to make the deal happen. It seems New York isn't going to give away much young talent, and that's especially true when talking about taking a pricey risk on a guy like Lee.

Expect Lee and/or Arroyo to be the best options the Yanks have at the moment. They'd like to go younger, but most times that's easier said than done and there's just too much standing in the way of the Yankees to do that.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, Baseball, Chicago Cubs, Cliff Lee, David Price, Jason Hammel, Jeff Samardzija, major league baseball, MLB, MLB Trade Deadline, New York, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay Rays, Trade Deadline

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