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Thursday, June 16, 2011
Phils get Cliff Lee, Yanks get Brian Gordon


Yankees general manger Brian Cashman doesn’t think the Phillies should be concerned that the Yankees signed one of their former minor leaguers, pitcher Brian Gordon.

“They got Cliff Lee, I got Brian Gordon,” Cashman said. “I don’t think they have anything to worry about.”

While Cashman joked in reference to the Yankees failed attempt at signing Lee in the offseason, he also discussed the process of Gordon joining the Yankees before the righty took the mound Thursday against Texas.

Gordon had been with the Phillies AAA squad and had an opt-out in his contract that would allow him to become a free agent on June 15, provided a team wanted him.

About a week ago, the Phillies e-mailed the other 29 teams in baseball that Gordon would be available if there was any interest.

The Yankees had some interest in Gordon, but after Bartolo Colon strained his left hamstring and was placed on the disabled list, they took an even better look at Gordon, who was 5-0 with a 1.14 ERA in the International League. Super scout Gene Michael, manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild all watched video of Gordon, although the Yankees did not physically scout any of his games.

After Gordon opted out of his deal, the Yankees officially signed him right before Thursday’s game and Cashman said the team had to fax in the contract before the game started. In preparation for his start, Gordon played long-toss in a park near Yankee Stadium on Wednesday with assistant Brett Weber.

"Someone stopped him and said, 'Hey, you have a great arm,'" Cashman said.

There had been talk of AAA pitchers David Phelps and Adam Warren possibly getting the start, but Cashman said if the team didn’t need to bring one of those two pitchers up, there was no need to as it would allow them more time to develop in AAA.

“If I could avoid it, I would,” Cashman said of bringing the young hurlers up.

Reliever Hector Noesi had been in the mix as well, but his role in the bullpen secluded him from getting the start.

“You talk about Noesi, he’s kind of out of his turn in a sense because of what we’ve had to do with him and use him in the bullpen,” Girardi said. “Phelps and Warren, they haven’t been in AAA very long, while this kid you’re looking at his age and has been in the big leagues and I can’t tell you this is going to be what we do from here on out, but this is what we chose to do today.”