NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is eyeing Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham as the July 31 trade deadline looms, according to WFAN and CBSSports.com baseball insider Jon Heyman.
The 35-year-old Willingham is batting just .219 on the season, but has some pop with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in 57 games.
It could indicate the Yankees, who have struggled to put runs on the board, may be willing to sacrifice a dip in average for power numbers that Ichiro Suzuki — coming off his first home run since last August — can’t provide.
Willingham, who missed 41 games with a broken wrist, will be a free agent after this season.
Heyman also mentioned Marlon Byrd and Alex Rios as possible targets. The Yankees (54-50) traded for third baseman Chase Headley last week.
Meanwhile, Cashman could also be in the market for more pitching help with starters CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda on the disabled list. Of the four, Sabathia and Nova are done for the season. New York recently acquired Chris Capuano from Colorado.
According to George Ofman of WBBM radio in Chicago, the Bombers “have discussed” Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta.
Arrieta is 5-2 with a 2.18 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 91 innings. The 28-year-old won’t hit free agency until 2018, and prying him from Chicago won’t be easy, Ofman reported via Twitter.
Cashman said the Yankees were in the thick of things earlier this month when the Cubs sent right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland.
“I think we were certainly in the arena,” Cashman said on WFAN radio. “The fact that (Cubs president) Theo (Epstein) was engaging me as much as he was, I know he likes our players. I know there’s packages that had interested him for one or both combined that could have worked.”
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