Multiple sources have indicated the Yankees are now the front-runner to land Diamondbacks right-hander Dan Haren before next Saturday’s Trade Deadline.
The Yankees, of course, were hot on the heels of Cliff Lee prior to the All-Star Break, but the Mariners dealt Lee to the Rangers instead. In the time since, New York has had to put Andy Pettitte on the disabled list with a strained left groin and has seen A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes continue to struggle in the rotation.
Arizona team president and CEO Derrick Hall has said the Diamondbacks require “an A-plus deal” if they are going to move Haren this season. Hall identified “Major League-ready pitching” as the team’s desired return, which is a bit different from the reported package of catcher Jesus Montero, second baseman David Adams and right-hander Zach McAllister offered for Lee.
AOL Fanhouse has reported that right-hander Ivan Nova could be the centerpiece of the Yankees’ package. Nova is 8-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 18 starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, and he pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Yankees earlier this year.
The Yankees have not been as open to acquiring a pitcher on the books beyond this season because they plan to pursue a free agent pitcher such as Lee in the offseason. It’s a different matter, though, for a pitcher the caliber of Haren, who has two years and an option year left on his current deal. Haren has a limited no-trade clause, but FoxSportsArizona.com reported that Haren would not have to approve a deal to the Bronx.
According to the New York Post, the Yankees had scout Kendall Carter at Chase Field on Wednesday to scout Haren’s start against the Mets. Haren received a no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits in six innings. Haren is 7-8 on the season with a 4.60 ERA. His best year was his last in the American League in 2007, when he was 15-9 with a 3.07 ERA for Oakland.