Like Red Sox, Yankees Could Be Buying Pitching at Deadline

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Like Red Sox, Yankees Could Be Buying Pitching at Deadline Long live the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Every offseason, the Sox and Yanks ? two of baseball?s richest, most prominent teams ? compete to sign some of the biggest-name free agents on the market. And with MLB?s trade deadline on the horizon, they could be competing for the same players to ready themselves for their respective playoff pushes, too.

Like the Red Sox, the Yankees have some needs at starting pitching after slot No. 2. CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett combine for New York?s one-two combination. But after that, the rotation gets a bit thin. Joba Chamberlain has been inconsistent, and Andy Pettite can?t be fully counted on at age 37. The Yankees? current No. 5 starter is Sergio Mitre, who is 1-0 in ?09, but two starts doesn?t provide a large enough sample size to properly assess him.

Boston?s rotation has an equal number of question marks following Josh Beckett and Jon Lester, which could mean one thing: Let the bidding begin. The names Jarrod Washburn, Doug Davis and Erik Bedard have been whispered around the new stadium of late. And don?t count out Brian Cashman in the Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee sweepstakes, either.

The Yankees also may be on the lookout for an extra reliever, depending on the health of lefty Damaso Marte, who is currently on the DL with tendinitis in his left throwing shoulder. The Blue Jays? Scott Downs has been rumored to be on the Yankee radar to join Phil Coke and Co. along the road to Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees finished a 9-1 homestand on Sunday, and their bats have come alive. But with outfielder Brett Gardner going on the DL with a fractured thumb, they may be seeking some bench depth before Friday?s deadline.

With a 2 1/2-game lead over the Red Sox, New York is unlikely to make any non-pitching-related blockbuster deals before Friday. Their lineup seems just fine.

Then again, this is the Yankees we?re talking about.

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