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New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka is sidelined for the next six weeks, and now the pressure is on the Bronx Bombers to find an adequate replacement in order to remain in contention.
The Yanks are in third place in the American League East, and their stock is suddenly plummeting without their best pitcher taking the hill until sometime in August, hopefully.
The team needs to make a move to acquire starting pitching help. Here are six players New York should target before the July 31 trade deadline:
1. David Price
He’s not only a pitcher who could bolster the rotation with Tanaka out, but down the line. The Yankees have also admired Price as he’s dominated them with the Tampa Bay Rays, and given the Rays’ position in the standings and their inability to sign him to a long-term deal, the fit with New York makes all too much sense.
One issue, according to ESPN, is the Yanks lack the necessary prospects to offer Tampa. New York can thank Oakland for setting the bar high with Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel swap.
2. Cole Hamels, 3. Cliff Lee
The Yankees have always coveted Lee, and because the Philadelphia Phillies are seemingly on the verge of a fire sale, Hamels could also be on the block.
Lee is due $10 million for the rest of 2014 and another $25 million next year, so New York is one of the few clubs that could afford to inherit his salary. That move works for both sides.
It gets a bit more tricky with Hamels. The Phillies probably want significant return for their ace, and like Price, the Yanks don’t have the prospects to deal. But because of age and contract, Philly may be more lenient in their asking price.
4. Kevin Correia
The Minnesota Twins are non-factors in the Central, and these two teams have a history of making deals. Correia is a cheap option, so probably more of a fallback option or a second-level type of trade to add depth to the rotation.
5. Ian Kennedy
Could a homecoming be in the works for the Yankees and Kennedy?
The San Diego Padres are already out of contention with the Dodgers and Giants ahead of them in the standings. Kennedy has a 3.71 ERA with a $6.1 million salary, plus if things don’t work out he’s a free agent after 2015.
6. John Danks
The Chicago White Sox are 9.5 games back in the AL Central and the 29-year-old Danks, who has a 8-6 record with a 4.15 ERA, is making $14.25 million this season as well as 2015 and 2016.
Coming off Tommy John surgery, Danks has not been as consistent as the Sox had hoped. If the team wants to shed his contract off the books, the Yankees are a good landing spot. The issue is whether the Yankees want to pay that much for this kind of production.
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