If spring training started tomorrow — and, yes, we know it’s winter, but bear with us — the Yankees could head to camp with their current roster if they had to, save perhaps for a couple of middle-relief spots. The lineup, in particular, is set, barring a surprise Matt Holliday signing that would make a corner outfielder expendable. But even though there are five or six pitchers who could conceivably start next year, work on the rotation is never complete.
The Post reports today that, according to a Major League source, Brian Cashman will “almost certainly” add another pitcher by year’s end. It appears that the Yankees really haven’t decided the fates of Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes — Cashman basically said last week that they could both start, or if the Yankees add a pitcher, one could move to the bullpen — though it’s worth keeping in mind that Hughes will be limited by an innings count this year, while Chamberlain (finally, mercifully) will not.
The Post says that Cashman is believed to have called the Cubs about trading for Carlos Zambrano, though their asking price may be too high, even after his injury-plagued 2009 season. With John Lackey signed in Boston, the rest of the free-agent market isn’t terribly strong: Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherer, Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro, and the like. And there’s this to consider: Fifteen teams have reportedly inquired about Chien-Ming Wang, and his agent would only confirm that the Yankees are one of them, and would like the option to match any final offer. So perhaps next year’s opening-day rotation won’t look all that different than last year’s.