With the trade deadline a little more than a week away, rumor central is heating up. So let's take a look at what is out there:
1. Cliff Lee came back Monday and didn't look too good. As of today, the Yankees are not hot and heavy for him, a source told ESPN New York. The Phillies are asking for a lot at this point for Lee, even though he will turn 36 at the end of August and is owed anywhere from $47.5 million to $62.5 million over the next three years. There are questions about his health, which he didn't quell Monday in his return from the DL. From Jerry Crasnick's story:
As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, Lee essentially has a two-start showcase to help drum up interest among trade partners looking for rotation help down the stretch. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say the first installment didn’t go so hot.
Lee returned to the Phillies’ rotation in a 7-4 loss to San Francisco on Monday. He did get off to an encouraging start with a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning. But the storyline regressed from there. Lee tied a career high with 12 hits allowed over 5⅔ innings and threw 90 pitches -- 59 of them strikes -- before giving way to reliever Justin De Fratus. Although he broke several bats and gave up an inordinate number of bleeders, it wasn’t the type of performance that’s going to make general manager Ruben Amaro’s cellphone vibrate with calls from motivated suitors.
“I thought he showed some rust,” an AL scout said of Lee. “His fastball command was off and he wasn’t nearly as precise as usual. He threw too many hittable pitches, and his overall stuff was flatter than normal. Give him another start before rushing to judgment. He threw strikes, but not with the level of precision he typically does.”
2. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reported the Yankees have had early talks about John Danks.
yanks check in on danks. talks in early stages. http://t.co/0Pcu7mMWlA
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 22, 2014
Danks, 29, is a lefty, which is a plus. However, he has a 4.35 ERA and is owed around $34 million through 2016. That is not very enticing unless Chicago eats some money and doesn't want much in return.
3. As one official put it, pitching isn't the problem for the Yankees these days -- the bats are. So maybe a move like bringing up Rob Refsnyder could be in order.
Question: Do you want Lee? Danks? Both? Neither?