First Pitch: Freddy Garcia's trade value

March, 23, 2012
3/23/12
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If the Yankees were to look to trade Freddy Garcia, it would be to clear him out of the logjam of the Super 7 rotation. It would have to be, because they aren't going to get anything of real value.

"They would not get a lot," an NL GM told ESPN New York.

It would seem that there would be a lot of teams that could use a guy who had a 3.62 ERA in the AL East last season, but the GM said he thinks most clubs view Garcia as a "depth guy." Plus, most teams don't have a $4 million salary slot available at this time of year.

One more factor to consider is since Garcia was signed as a free agent, he has the right to decline any trade until June.

Garcia is scheduled to return to the mound on Saturday for the first time since he hurt his hand a little more than a week ago. If I had to predict, I would say right now he would probably be the odd man out of the rotation. To me, it comes down to Garcia or Michael Pineda.

Pineda may one day be the No. 2 starter of the Yankees' dreams, but thus far he has had trouble with his fastball, his weight and the mass of the Yankee media. That said, while Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi have both brought up the possibility that Pineda could start the season at Triple-A, that is not why they got him.

(Cashman said Thursday he hasn't thought about it, but more likely he doesn't want to make it a bigger issue.)

In the end, as we have detailed here more than once, they could decide to start Pineda in the minors so he can be as ready for the big stage as possible, but more likely is in the rotation.

If they were pick Garcia for the rotation over Pineda, Phil Hughes or Ivan Nova, it would be because they know what Garcia is and they like it. As Girardi is prone to say, "Freddy is Freddy." They pretty much know what they are going to get with him. And, it seems, if they wanted to trade him they wouldn't wouldn't get much back for him.

UP NOW: Gordon Edes on Bobby Valentine being irked at Girardi for ending Thursday's Yankees-Red Sox game after nine innings.

ON DECK: Kieran Darcy will be in the clubhouse early this morning. At 1 p.m., Ivan Nova takes the ball and tries to close the door on any thoughts -- as minimal as they probably should be -- that he will not be in the rotation. The Yankees face the Twins. The game is on YES.

The big story of the day should be Derek Jeter's return to game-action after his calf injury sidelined him a week ago.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Would you trade Freddy?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRM. Teixeira 21
RBIJ. Ellsbury 67
RB. Gardner 81
OPSB. Gardner .770
ERAH. Kuroda 3.81
SOM. Tanaka 135