The New York Yankees are "aggressively pushing" right-handers Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain to teams around the league, and an AL exec believes the club may be nearing a deal for Chamberlain with an National League team, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
More Yankees: Whatever Happened to Luke Murton?
The 27-year-old right-handers have both seen better days, but the duo still has the potential to be value commodities on the deadline trade market. Both players will hit free agency in the fall, so neither is a long-term acquisition, but the Yankees could still net a decent return for the pair if they're able to corner a team in desperation.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports (insider) that the asking price for Hughes at the moment is "incredibly high," likely a tactic to see if New York can take advantage of a team being overly-aggressive in bolstering its rotation. Olney calls this misguided aggressiveness "Zack Wheeler syndrome," in homage of the trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants in 2011 in exchange for one of the game's top pitching prospects.
It's likely that the Yankees will make Hughes a qualifying offer in the fall if they hang on to him, so they really have no reason to lower his asking price below the equivalent of a compensation draft pick.
Hughes is not the top-of-the-rotation starter New York hoped he would be, but he could be a nice addition to the back end of a contending team's rotation. The right-hander owns a 4.55 earned-run average and 7.4 strikeout per nine rate in 95 innings on the year.
Chamberlain has been tied to the Phillies, Giants, and Braves in the last week, so the NL team alluded to above may be any of those three squads (or someone else entirely). Chamberlain has fallen a long way since the days of "Joba Rules" -- mostly due to injury -- but he's still young enough that he could turn things around in a new environment. Joba owns a 5.75 earned-run average and 9.7 strikeouts per nine over 20⅓ innings this season.