Counting down to the Trade Deadline

The non-waivers Trade Deadline is quickly approaching at 4 p.m. ET today and you absolutely never want to say never with the Yankees. But as of right now, it does not appear that they will be making a major move.

The biggest name out there for them appears to be Jarrod Washburn, and word from out West is that while the Mariners are asking big – they’ve dropped the names Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Jesus Montero – Washburn probably could be eventually pried away for a package involving a Major League-ready starting pitcher who could work his way up the Mariners rotation.

The problem is, if the Yankees had a pitcher like that in their ranks, they’d already be using them at the big league level. Perhaps if Ian Kennedy were healthy, that’d be a name that would make sense for Seattle, but if that was the case, he might be here in Chicago. Instead, Sergio Mitre has the ball tonight.

Don’t forget that Washburn — 4-0 with a 0.74 ERA in his last five starts — also has approximately $3.7 million remaining on his contract for 2009. That’s not huge money in the Yankee universe, of course, and if they decide they must have him, there’s got to be something in the couch cushions. But we’ll invoke the Eric Hinske reference again and point out that the purse-strings seem to be tighter in the new Steinbrenner generation.

It looks like the Yankees will have a roster move to make today, finally trimming their pitching staff from 13 pitchers to 12 and calling up a position player. They want a right-handed bat because the White Sox are throwing lefties the next three days, so if that move comes from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, take your pick from Shelley Duncan, Ramiro Pena and perhaps Austin Jackson if they intend to play him.

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