Saturday, June 22, 2013

Are We A Trade Match With The Cubs -- The Pitchers

The Yankees one bright spot this season has been the pitching. The pitching has carried us more times than not so I do not expect the Yankees to give up much pitching, if at all, nor do I expect them to trade for any but this is worth looking at anyway. The Cubs seem like they will be big time sellers this trade deadline season and will have some interesting pitching pieces presumably available.

We would not be having this conversation if Matt Garza had been healthy last July but we're back this trade deadline season and we're talking about the Cubs probably trading Matt Garza again. Garza has a $10.25 million contract for 2013 and will be a free agent after this season and the Cubs would love to move this contract. Garza is AL East tested and the right hander sports a 1-1 record with a 4.98 ERA but has a 1.22 WHIP and a .223 batting average against in 34 innings pitched this season. Someone will take a waiver on Garza but I am not convinced that he is an upgrade over even Phil Hughes at this point and I do not see the Yankees paying 5th starter prices for Garza so I think we will pass ultimately.

Scott Feldman has a $6 million contract that ends at the end of this season which will make him an interesting piece to move this June or July. Feldman has made all 14 of his starts this season garnering a 6-6 record with a 3.39 record in 85 innings pitched. Every contender or pretender needs a guy who can pitch to a low three ERA and eat innings and Feldman is your man. Feldman also has a 1.15 WHIP and a .232 batting average against and would probably be an upgrade over Phil Hughes at this point. Problem is some team will pay ace or #2 price for him in my opinion and that team will not be the Yankees.

Kevin Gregg has been marvelous in the Cubs bullpen this season with a 2-0 record and a minuscule 0.81 ERA in 22.1 innings pitched. Gregg has logged all 10 save opportunities this season with a 0.99 WHIP and a .188 batting average against which are Mariano Rivera type numbers. Gregg is on a $6 million option and will be a free agent after the season and unless the Yankees end up trading a Joba Chamberlain in a package for a bat I cannot see them acquiring Gregg but damn that would be nice, wouldn't it? Gregg, Robertson, and Rivera pitching the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings? Forget about it, game over.

Carlos Marmol has been terrible again and lost his closer job so he is probably stuck on the Cubs roster for the rest of the season, the Cubs will probably want to hang on to Carlos Villanueva since he is on the right side of 30 even with a $5 million annual contract through 2014, but will Edwin Jackson be traded YET AGAIN this trade deadline? While he is not pitching his butt off with a 3-9 record and a 5.49 ERA, a .282 batting average against, and a 1.55 WHIP would a team still take a waiver on him? I don't doubt the Cubs doubt their judgment when handing Jackson a four year deal worth $52 million. With Jackson set to make $11 million in 2014-2016 a team would have to give up a ton to get him but it is worth noting that he does not have a no trade clause so the possibility of him moving to a contender for a haul is just that, a possibility.

The Cubs pitchers may not intrigue us much, not to say anything bad about them, because we are not struggling in the pitching department. I cannot see the Yankees and the Cubs being a match to trade for a pitcher even though the Yankees will still likely at least kick the tires on a Gregg or a Edwin Jackson with the impending free agency of Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte. The Cubs are going to get a haul for their pitchers to rebuild that farm system but I cannot see it being from the Yankees.

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