The trade deadline is less than a week away, and the New York Yankees have to be looking at their options right now.
New York need a starting pitcher and the Los Angeles Dodgers need to rebuild -- and that means Hiroki Kuroda might be leaving the near-last-place Dodgers for the pennant-chasing Yankees.
The right-handed starter was signed to a one-year deal in the off-season, and has proven to be a very reliable Major League starter since arriving from Japan in 2008. Kuroda, 36, has a 3.19 earned run average this season in 20 starts, and more than 127 innings. His career ERA is 3.52.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman showed interest in Kuroda this past offseason, but the veteran pitcher likely had more of an interest in staying with his present club. Meanwhile, Cashman was also pursuing Cliff Lee.
The Yankees are joined by the Red Sox and Tigers, among others, as teams apparently having interest in Kuroda, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.
Peter Gammons of MLB.com had previously mentioned that Kuroda won't accept a trade to the East Coast, but news has surfaced that Kuroda is willing to go east.
According to an official with knowledge of Kuroda's situation, ESPN reported that Kuroda would waive his no-trade clause if he were traded to the Yankees or Red Sox.
Yankees' starters have over-achieved this season, but there has to be some doubt as to whether A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia can continue their success going into the final two months of the season, and perhaps into the postseason.
It would be interesting to see what the Yankees would give up for Kuroda. The Dodgers don't appear to have too many hitting prospects, particularly at catcher, while the Yankees have three well-regarded catching prospects.
The Dodgers are currently more than 13.5 games back in the National League West, and with their current ownership in limbo, likely need to make changes for the future.
As for Colorado right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, it would seem unlikely that the Yankees would mortgage their farm system for one pitcher, and Jimenez has struggled in a year where runs have become more scarce.
Jimenez had 2.88 ERA in 2010, and has a 4.20 ERA this season. In his last start against Arizona, Jimenez conceded five runs in five innings.
Jimenez is 27-years-old, and has a career ERA of 3.62 while pitching in hitter-friendly Coors Field.