A few years ago, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes were expected to be the future of the New York Yankees pitching staff. Now, it appears both players could be on their way out of the Bronx.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is reporting that the organizations is “aggressively pushing” the two pitchers. An American League executive tells Rosenthal that Chamberlain could be traded to a National League team soon.
The NL team in question could be the Philadelphia Phillies. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Phillies have proposed the idea of trading Michael Young in exchange for Chamberlain. Philadelphia may also be willing to deal Carols Ruiz before the July 31 deadline.
The potential swap would seem to make sense for both teams. Chamberlain could help improve a Philadelphia bullpen that has been the worst in the NL in 2013. The Phillies rank 15th in the league with a 4.65 ERA from their relievers. Both Young and Ruiz would be upgrades for the Yankees. Young can play first and third base and his .289 batting average would be second on New York, only to Robinson Cano. Ruiz is struggling with no home runs in 35 games, but he’s still doing better than Yankees catcher Austin Romine and his .132 average.
With the return of Ivan Nova, it might be in the Yankees' best interest to deal Hughes. The former 18-game winner is just 4-8 this season with a 4.55 ERA. Hughes is set to be a free agent in the offseason, like Chamberlain, and New York might consider bolstering their offense in exchange for the starter. No AL team has a worse slugging percentage than the Yankees, who have hit 85 home runs through 90 games.
Hughes and Chamberlain were considered two of the best prospects in the MLB when they reached the big leagues in 2007, but haven’t been able to play at a consistently high level. Both pitchers have been shuffled between the bullpen and rotation in their careers, which may have contributed to their struggles.
Both New York and Philadelphia are in danger of missing the playoffs. Since the strike in 1994, the Yankees have only missed the postseason once. However, they currently sit in fourth place in the division and six games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Phillies are in third place and 7.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves.