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Report: Yankees among teams scouting Rich Harden

Aug 20, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Getty Images

The Red Sox backed out of a trade for Rich Harden before the non-waiver trade deadline due to concerns about his medical records, but there’s still a chance he’ll be dealt this month.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Yankees have had scouts present at each of Harden’s last two starts while scouts from other potential playoff teams have been watching him for even longer.

Harden tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts over seven shutout innings in last night’s win over the Blue Jays. After missing the first three months of the season with a strained lat muscle, the 29-year-old right-hander has a 3.91 ERA and 60/24 K/BB ratio over 53 innings. He is averaging 91.6 mph on his fastball this season, which is up a tick from where he was last season (90.5) with the Rangers.

The Yankees have six starters for five spots right now, but CC Sabathia is the only given for a short-series during the postseason. While Harden would represent an interesting alternative for the Bombers, there’s no guarantee he’ll actually make it to them. Harden was placed on waivers earlier this week, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, so a pitching-hungry team like the Angels could potentially put in a claim first.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Do not forget about the Jays. They also need a starter and saw Harden first hand last night. They also have priority over playoff bound teams. Did I mention that Harden has added value to Toronto as he is a Canadian?

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:53 PM

      The Jays and Oakland also have a history of trades with each other. Harden for a prospect such as Stewart mught be in the works.

      • saucepaws - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:07 PM

        The Jays traded Stewart in the Jackson/Rasmus deal a few weeks back.
        And how exactly does Harden have more value for the Jays because he’s Canadian? AA has said repeatedly that nationalism has no impact what so ever when they’re making personnel decisions. If anything it’s a nice bonus, but by no means provides any additional value.

        Also, why would they want Harden when he wouldn’t be part of the plan next year? Jays grabbing him makes little to no sense.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        A brain cramp on my part. I was thinking of David Cooper who is hitting .390 in Triple A. He is blocked by Lind.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:38 PM

        Another typo. Cooper is only hitting .370. He is a former first round pick.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:42 PM

        As far as next year is concerned, Harden makes sense. The Jays need an experienced starter until some of the youngsters are ready for prime time. throwing 21 and 22 year old starters to the wolves in the AL East is risky to their confidence..

      • saucepaws - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        Harden is signed to a 1-year deal. If they decide they want him for next year, why not just sign him in the off-season rather than giving up a prospect only to have Harden take up a rotation spot through September on a team that is not contending? It doesn’t make any sense for them to do this. It`s much better to see what Alvarez, Perez, Drabek and even McGowan have to offer through the last month of the season.

        Also, if they “need a veteran presence in the rotation next year” (I totally disagree, seeing as Romero is the leader of the staff) I would rather them spend the money on someone a little more reliable than Rich Harden, who if you’re lucky, will start 18 games for you.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        harden for another overrated blue jays prospect? WOW

    • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 21, 2011 at 6:41 PM

      i hope the jays do get him so he can sit on their DL list for months like he does every year

  2. entersandman42ny - Aug 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Harden doesn’t make any sense for the Yankees. He isn’t any better than Nova, Hughes or Garcia and the Yankees aren’t going to take Burnett out of the rotation. The only concern I would have is about Colon, who has struggled since returning from the DL, but they can just put him in the bullpen or alternate him with Garcia to limit their innings. I wouldn’t put my trust in Harden to put him in the playoff rotation, so I don’t think Cashman will pull the trigger on a deal for Harden.

    • yankeesfanlen - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      Agreed. The only thing the Yanks might want is a bat stronger than Andruw Jones.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 4:43 PM

        Think you will get Giambi or Thome?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        Andruw Jones:

        Total – .256/.339/.487
        LHP – .278/.381/.536

        His sOPS (splits against league average) against LHP is 144 (44% better than average). Did you not see the bomb he hit thursday night against Duensing?

      • deathmonkey41 - Aug 21, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        They need a bat stronger than Jorge Posada’s.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

        Yeah, agreed – it’s the long half of the platoon they need to upgrade, not the short half.

  3. uyf1950 - Aug 20, 2011 at 5:29 PM

    Hey, what’s one more. The Yankees have 6 starters now that they are trying to decide on. Why not throw one more into the mix. The rosters get expanded in just a couple of weeks then Cashman and Girardi can go can choose the top 4 or 5 by going “eeny, meeny, miny mo”.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 20, 2011 at 8:11 PM

      AJ could not get out of the second inning tonight. It looks as if the Yankees are down to 4 starters.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 21, 2011 at 5:47 AM

        Proudly – There’s CC, Nova, Hughes, Colon and Garcia (the DL was just a tactic to make room on the roster) Garcia will make his next start come the weekend games against Baltimore. I would also content that a 5 man rotation without AJ is better then a 6 man rotation with AJ as one of the starters. That’s just my opinion.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 21, 2011 at 6:43 PM

        looks like the jays just about have 4th place wrapped up again this year!

  4. jeffbbf - Aug 21, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    A non-story here. Harden is a FA at the end of the year. Any team with a sniffing interest in signing this guy in the off-season is sending scouts to watch him pitch. Due diligence.

  5. pisano - Aug 21, 2011 at 2:39 AM

    Harden or anyone breathing would be an upgrade over AJ Burnett. He got his ass pounded again tonight and didn’t get passed the second inning. The Yankees have to seriously do something about this bum. I still say to take him out of the rotation and only put him in games that are routs, mop up duty only. You can’t feel safe with a ten run lead with this guy on the mound. He has to be out of the rotation asap.

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