Mo Hurt, Yanks Need Arms
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was unavailable to pitch Monday due to what he called “soreness” in his right triceps. Rivera said he felt the soreness during the Yanks loss against the Mets on Sunday, a game Rivera failed to close out. When asked about the injury, Rivera said “it’s improving, hopefully Tuesday I’ll be ready to pitch…I’m not concerned about it.” Yankees fans have to feel somewhat optimistic that Mo can bounce back quickly because it’s a muscle injury and not an elbow injury. The latter being much more serious, requiring thorough examination. Rivera is 41 years old and although Yankees fans like to think he’ll be around forever, and to no fault of their own considering he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, you have to fortify the bullpen just in case.
The Yanks started the season with a bullpen that many thought was the best in baseball but injuries have taken their toll. Rafael Soriano has only appeared in 16 games due to injury and wasn’t very effective in those appearances, compiling a 5.40 ERA. Also, set up man Joba Chamberlain is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. If Mo is out for any sustained period of time then the Yanks are in trouble. Rumors circulating around have the Yanks somewhat interested in acquiring closers Frankie Rodriguez from the cross-town Mets or Heath Bell from the San Diego Padres. Personally, I would rather have Bell. Their both in the last year of their contracts but Bell is more consistent and will be easier to acquire since the Padres have been reported to be dangling him as trade bait.
The Yankees could also use starting rotation help. Guys like Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia have overachieved and can’t be counted on come playoff time. Phil Hughes is also coming back to the rotation after the All-Star break but there’s no way of knowing what you’re going to get out of him for the rest of the season. Rumors have the Yanks interested in Seattle Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez as well as Giants’ number two starter Matt Cain. In my opinion, Cain would be easier to acquire. He’s owed upwards of 15 million for the coming years on a team that is already paying big money to Lincecum and Zito. The Giants also have a ridiculous amount of young pitching prospects and would be willing to part ways with Cain if the price is right. The Yanks would probably have to offer Nunez and one of their promising young arms, either Betances or Banuelos, in order to entice the Giants. Whatever route they choose to take, the Yanks definitely need to be active before the July 31 trade deadline. Look for them to add at least one arm, whether it be in the rotation or the bullpen.