NEW YORK -- Brian Cashman said again Saturday that he'd like to trade for a starting pitcher, sooner rather than later. He also said again that he's already been trying.
So what's taking so long?
Well, you may have noticed that no other teams have been trading for starting pitchers lately, even though other teams besides Cashman's New York Yankees are shopping in the same market. And you may have noticed the current major league standings, which show that almost every team is either in the race or a weeklong hot streak away from feeling like it's in the race.
There's little doubt that a few teams are already obvious sellers on the midseason market. Both the Cubs and the Rays fit into that category, and both clubs are said to be ready to move starting pitchers.
It seems highly unlikely that the Yankees would have enough to offer the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija or the Rays for David Price, though. There's also the question of whether the Rays would be willing to trade Price within the division. Some rival executives who speak regularly with the Rays believe that they would consider it, but more likely to a team like the Toronto Blue Jays, who have more to offer than the Yankees do.
The Cubs would also be willing to deal Jason Hammel, who had some success in the American League East while pitching for the Orioles and will command a lesser price than Samardzija or Price.
The Phillies would no doubt be willing to move Cliff Lee, a pitcher the Yankees have pursued in the past. Lee is both hurt and expensive, not exactly an attractive combination. He wouldn't provide any immediate help, but since the Phillies are hoping he'll be back sometime around the All-Star break, he may be worth keeping an eye on.
Most other teams either still have a chance (or think they do) or don't have much in the way of attractive starting pitching to deal. Most teams that want to trade a starter now are like the Boston Red Sox, who have been trying to dump the expensive and underperforming Jake Peavy.
The good news for Cashman is that things can change quickly, and that there's still more than a month to go before the non-waiver trade deadline. But that's good news only if teams with pitchers whom the Yankees like (and can afford, prospectwise) go bad over the next month.
Remember, there was a time not long ago when people were asking when the Royals would trade James Shields. Then the Royals got hot; they went into Saturday's action with a record just half a game worse than the Yankees'.