March 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Freddy Garcia (36) warms up before the game against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Yankees Rumors: Phil Hughes, Freddy Garcia as Trade Bait?

It’s amazing how much of a facelift the New York Yankees starting rotation has received this offseason.  As if the acquisitions of Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda weren’t enough, the Yankees decided to dust off Andy Pettitte for another go-round.  Now, with their trio of offseason acquisitions, New York has the enviable problem of too many pitchers.  Rumors have been swirling regarding what the Yankees will do with their pitching depth with some speculating trade scenarios.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported yesterday that Yankees veteran right hander Freddy Garcia could “wind up as trade bait”.  However, there are a few factors that could lessen the chances of a deal taking place.  Heyman points out that Garcia’s been out with a bruise on his throwing hand and that he’s owed $4 million in 2012.

Also, Garcia must approve any trade made before June 16th based on when he signed with the Yankees and the fact that he inked a major league deal.  This presents a potential problem as New York would ideally want to trade Garcia before the start of the season.

The final factor working against the Yankees is that several of the clubs most interested in starting pitching are in direct competition with New York.  Heyman said that while it’s obvious the Yankees are unlikely to deal Garcia to the Boston Red Sox, he also asked if it’s that much more likely the club trades their veteran to the Detroit Tigers or Toronto Blue Jays.

Beyond Garcia, Joel Sherman of the New York Post speculated that Phil Hughes could also find his way onto the trade block this spring.  While this could certainly happen, Hughes is far less likely to be dealt than Garcia.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has said that he still has high hopes for Hughes and would want significant return if he dealt the right-hander.  If the Yankees don’t decide to stash Hughes in their bullpen, the 25-year-old also has an option remaining and can be sent down to Triple-A to start the season.

For more on the Yankees, be sure to check out Yanks Go Yard.

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Tags: Andy Pettitte Freddy Garcia Hiroki Kuroda Michael Pineda New York Yankees Phil Hughes

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