NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cliff Lee may be coveted, but John Danks could make more sense for the Yankees.
Since losing 80 percent of their starting rotation to injuries, the Yankees have been pursuing pitching all over the place. The Philadelphia Phillies are in last place in the NL East and if they decide to sell off parts the Yankees can easily absorb the remaining $37.5 million Lee is owed through 2015.
However, Lee is coming off an elbow injury and didn’t look great in his return from the disabled list Monday night, getting knocked around for six runs and 12 hits over 5 2/3 innings by the San Francisco Giants.
So could the Yankees go in another direction? They have spoken to the Chicago White Sox about veteran left-hander Danks, but there’s no indication the teams are close to a deal, CBSSports.com and WFAN baseball insider Jon Heyman reported Tuesday.
Danks, 29, is 8-6 with a 4.35 ERA this season for the White Sox, who were nine games out in the NL Central and 5 1/2 behind the second wild card team entering play on Tuesday.
Like Lee, Danks would give the Yankees a left-hander, something they haven’t had due to CC Sabathia’s season-ending knee injury and the trade of his replacement, Vidal Nuno, to Arizona for Brandon McCarthy.
So far, McCarthy has panned out, pitching to a 1.42 ERA in two starts. Danks, when added to McCarthy and veteran Hiroki Kuroda, would give the Yankees stability as they try to make a move in the AL East and wild card race.
Danks has $34 million left on his contract, which runs through 2016, and has a limited no-trade clause, Heyman reported.
In eight seasons, all with the White Sox, Danks is 69-80 with a 4.22 ERA. He won a career-high 15 games in 2010.
Earlier Tuesday the Yankees bolstered their sputtering offense, acquiring veteran third baseman Chase Headley and cash from the San Diego Padres for infielder Yangervis Solarte and pitcher Rafael DePaula.
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