Joel Sherman offered his usual strong take today on the Yankees and their search for starting pitching, and I agree with him: No matter how badly the Yankees appear to need help, I can't see them overpaying for Ubaldo Jimenez or Hiroki Kuroda.
I'll contribute one addendum: This is not how July was supposed to proceed for the Yankees. When they whiffed on Cliff Lee and saw Andy Pettitte retire over the offseason, they looked at history and figured: We'll be in the front of the line to acquire that ace pitcher when he becomes available. We've got the prospects and the dough.
It was a good read of history: Lee, Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt all went in trades last July; Lee in 2009 (and Roy Halladay was very available); and CC Sabathia in 2008. In 2007, the best pitcher on the market was a free agent, Roger Clemens, whom the Yankees signed and who helped the team.
This year, though? Barring a stunning emergence of someone in the next 46 1/2 hours, the best pitcher traded might be the very intriguing but not as accomplished Jimenez (if he's traded), who carries red flags simply because the Rockies are shopping him despite his incredibly team-friendly contract.
Hey, maybe something wacky will happen in August and the Yankees will somehow work around the waivers system. But while Brian Cashman often spouts the cliche that you can't worry about things you can't control, it has to frustrate the Yankees that the chips didn't fall differently.
--It's worth noting that, for all Yankees fans' understandable agita about their starting rotation, the Red Sox are looking for a starter, as well. Most notably, thier prized young right-hander Clay Buchholz has been on the disabled list since June 17 with a back injury.
Buchholz recently told a friend that his back wasn't getting any better, and reports indicate that the soon-to-be 27-year-old could see a back specialist shortly.
So the Red Sox, short of a trade import, are relying as heavily on Jon Lester and Josh Beckett as the Yankees are on CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon. Undoubtedly, you'd rank Colon fourth out of that quartet, but I'd rank Sabathia first, based on his durability. And Freddy Garcia, unbelivably, has pitched better than any of the Red Sox's current, healthy starters.
--If you follow this crap, you know that the Phillies are going hard after Hunter Pence. It was the talk of Citizens Bank Park last night.
An interesting component: Houston GM Ed Wade, the former Phillies GM, has made multiple deals with the Phillies, doing OK in handing over Brad Lidge and not doing as well in sending Roy Oswalt to Cheesesteak Land last year.
Wade is fighting for his job, at best; at worst, he's toast no matter what he does. But will his history with the Phillies impact what could be his final big move?
--The Yankees want Marlins lefty reliever Randy Choate, but as of now, it appears that Florida - interested in building up fan momentum toward the opening of its new ballpark next year - isn't inclined to deal anyone.
--Have a good night.