MLB Trade Rumors 2014: New York Yankees Need Pitching Help; Will They Pursue Jeff Samardzija?
The New York Yankees are going through a very critical time in their season. Their pitching rotation isn't in very good shape and their batting order is average at best.
CC Sabathia has a nagging knee injury and there's a possibility he could be out for longer than the Yankees initially thought. He's not expected to return until July. The Yankees have invested a lot of time and money into Sabathia, so this is a big blow. Iván Nova had season-ending Tommy John surgery and all he can do is watch and rehab the remainder of the season. Nova struggled in two of his four games, but did win two starts for the Yankees. And then there's Michael Pineda. The Dominican-born pitcher was playing great, but has a muscle strain in his shoulder.
Rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has been better than anybody could have expected up to this date. Tanaka is the only pitcher on the team with more than three victories and has three more wins than anybody else.
So with all the injuries to the rotation and the offense not up to par, where should the Yankees look to for upgrades?
There has already been rumors with Cliff Lee and the Yankees over the past few days. Lee would make sense as a possible trade for both teams because the Phillies could use the value and the Yankees could use Lee's services.
Another name that is being thrown around is Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija. Samardzija has never been an elite pitcher, but he's having a great season. This year, Samardzija has 54 strike outs and just 21 walks. His ERA ranks among the league's best at a 1.46. Unfortunately for Samardzija, he is 0-4 this season with six no decisions in his 10 starts. The Cubs' lack of offense has not given him much support at all.
This might be a great deal for both teams. The Cubs could use more money and value while the Yankees need another reliable pitcher to assist Tanaka. The Cubs play in the National League, so they won't have to worry about trading away a great player within their own division or league, for example when the Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees.
The Cubs currently have the worst record in all of baseball. Making a splash in the trade market with the most valued franchise may be wise in order to rebuild.
This is also an unusual time for the Yankees. We are so used to seeing them offensively oriented and win games because of their bats. However, so far this season through the first quarter of the year, only two hitters even have a batting average over .275: Brett Gardner and Yangervis Solarte. Solarte has been an interesting player out of Venezuela and is doing a great job for a rookie. Still, the Yankees offense doesn't resemble anything of the past as what fans are used to seeing. Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth aren't walking through the door anytime soon.
With pitching now the top priority going forward, Jeff Samardzija might be a must trade for the pinstripes.
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