Yankees Trade Rumors: Moves New York Needs to Make to Remain Atop AL East

Marc Weinreich@QuestionMarcsCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 10:  National League All-Star Cole Hamels #35 of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches in the seventh inning during the 83rd MLB All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

I'm not sure if the old saying is true: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Yankees entered the All-Star break as the No. 1 team in baseball, so why suggest changes?

October is still months away. Everyone knows that the playoffs are an entirely different beast.

As good as they are right now, the Yankees no doubt have their deficiencies: they're fourth in the league in runs scored allowed. Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter, while stellar at times, have been inconsistent this season. What's most concerning is their thin pitching.

Are the Yankees good enough to remain atop the AL East? Are they good enough to stave off late-season pushes from the White Sox, Rangers and Orioles?

The Yankees are weak on on the mound and will need to make an upgrade before the playoffs if they hope to play in the World Series yet again. C.C. Sabathia should be back soon but Andy Pettitte isn't expected back to the rotation any time soon.

One move they should make is to try to acquire the Phillies' Cole Hamels. The Bronx Bombers need a veteran who can step in late in the season and bring stability to the mound at a crucial point in the season. Hamels could be that guy. He's played six full seasons and is a proven winner as evidenced by his 2008 World Series ring.

He's 7-4 in the postseason and healthy as an ox; he has more than 28 starts in each of his past five seasons, going nearly seven innings in each of his appearances, and has pitched for more than 180 innings over that stretch.

But as ESPN's Buster Olney points out, the asking price may be too steep—four or five prospects for the Southpaw.

A slightly more realistic signing would be for the Yankees to go after the Cubs' Matt Garza. It's clear that Garza wants out of Chicago and it'd be in the Yankees best interest to make sure he's not picked up by another team—the Blue Jays or, dare I say, the Red Sox. A move like that from a rival would surely close the gap that the Yankees currently have in the AL East.

Garza has proven himself in the AL East, posting ERAs under four in each of his three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. Zach Greinke is having a nice season, but would be too much of a risk to bring him to New York. Garza is the safe bet because of his track record.

The Yankees are definitely on a roll, but October is still far away. While this window only gives more time for CC and Pettitte to recover, it also opens the door for others to go down.

Will the Yankees make a deal before the fall? Or will they stay quiet and let others make trades to close that gap?