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On Chien-Ming Wang and Vicente Padilla

The Yankees got bad news on Chien-Ming Wang:

This is the statement the Yankees just released about Chien-Ming Wang, who injured his foot in Sunday's game in Houston:

RHP Chien-Ming Wang was examined today at New York Presbyterian Hospital Columbia Medical Center by Yankees Team Physician, Dr. Stuart Hershon and Dr. Justin Greisberg, Foot and Ankle Specialist.

Imaging studies revealed a mid-foot sprain of the Lisfranc ligament of the right foot and a partial tear of the peroneal longus tendon of the right foot.

Wang will be on crutches and wear a protective boot for a minimum of six weeks.

This is devastating news for the Yankees, who could be without their ace pitcher for the remainder of the season and now are sure to be in the market for a starting pitcher at the July 31 trade deadline.

The question becomes: Will they part with one or more of their own young pitchers if that's what it would take to get somebody like Cleveland lefty C.C. Sabathia?

Stay tuned.

So...the immediate thought I had was, does this pave the way for a Padilla-to-New York deal?

And my second thought is...probably not.

The Yanks have a couple of options out there.  They could load up and go after Rich Harden, who is under contract through 2009 (including the $7 million team option) and who is pitching like a legit #1.  (And who Peter Gammons thinks is the big prize out there right now).  That would likely cost them something along the lines of Melky Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Ian Kennedy or Philip Hughes, and maybe an Alan Horne or someone of that ilk.  Maybe more. 

They could go after C.C. Sabathia, who is a free agent after the season, and who the Indians are apparently willing to talk about.  The cost Sabathia would be less than for Harden, I'd imagine, but you'd still have to start off with Kennedy or Hughes plus Jackson.

There is also A.J. Burnett, who might be the best fit for the Yanks.  He's got top of the rotation stuff (if not top of the rotation results), and can opt out of his deal after this season (and if he stays with the Blue Jays, likely will).  The Yanks could probably get him for less than Sabathia or Harden would cost, then talk to him about re-doing his deal after the season, if he holds up to the New York drama.

There is Erik Bedard.  One has to guess that the new g.m. in Seattle is going to shop him, if Bedard isn't willing to talk extension (and he supposedly isn't), and the cost for Bedard is probably close to the cost for Harden.

So...there are several guys better than Padilla out there.  And if the Yanks want to give up elite prospects, they can get one of those guys.

I can't see the Yanks giving up significant prospects for Padilla, though.  He's in the category of players who I could see the Yanks saying, we'll take his salary off your hands, and maybe we'll give you one of our lesser light prospects, a Brett Gardner or a Dan McCutchen, but not anyone really, you know, good

And the thing that concerns me is that, Padilla's nice start ERA-wise notwithstanding, his peripherals are saggy.  He's got a DIPS ERA of 5.08 and a FIP of 5.10...despite an overall 810 OPS allowed this season, he's held leadoff hitters to a 713 OPS and batters with RISP to a 683 OPS (with just a .333 slugging percentage).  His pattern appears to be, get the first guy out, get into trouble, then eke out of it.

The other problem is that, well...someone has to pitch for the Rangers.  And until Luis Mendoza and/or Brandon McCarthy get back to 100%, there aren't a lot of obvious choice to take over for Padilla in the rotation.  Plus, it isn't as if dumping Padilla's contract should be that big a priority, since he only has a year to go and isn't making so much that it would prohibit the Rangers from making some other moves. the end of the day, I'm sure there will be some discussions between Brian Cashman and Jon Daniels about Padilla, but I don't think anything is going to happen here.  This isn't a good fit.