New York Yankees Moving Closer To Key Trades

Brian Cashman isn't known for being coy when big names are available to snatch for his New York Yankees. In fact, he's primed to bring home an unexpected World Series win since many players on his payroll are becoming aged. Several names have been tossed around over the summer, but nothing has reached fruition to date. The Yankees, however, are moving closer to securing the services of several top guns. They are rumored to be:

Johnny Cueto

Brian Cashman was adamant in telling press no Yankee is "untouchable," meaning securing one big name may mean another semi-large Yankees component may move. Cueto, owed $10 million this season with a club option already exercised, logically fits a pitching-deficient team relying on big offensive nights. Tanaka, who we'll assume is 95% healed, will be pitching his first postseason push, but he'll undoubtedly need assistance with nobody emerging as staff ace. CC Sabathia is winding down his long career with Cleveland and the New York Yankees, although his strikeouts are still coming. Cueto just makes sense, in other words, and could become option number one depending on who wins the Hamels sweepstakes.

Yovani Gallardo

Texas isn't mathematically eliminated, but they're sinking fast. Having just whipped the hapless Rockies to take the series helps, but too many contests with Angels and Houston remain. Yovani Gallardo, 29, has excellent stuff once again (2.91 ERA) and is arguably Texas' ace. Picking through the Yankees farm system equates to children shopping at Toys R Us. Seriously, the Yankees could honestly afford to release players to Texas at will, since they'll just buy them back later from another farm system. Yovani would fit comfortably in the number two slot, and is one of the more intelligent trades The Yankees should consider.

Mike Leake

Cincinnati isn't contending this year, to be frank. They're linked to several trades involving Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman, but perhaps Mike Leake would bring the New York Yankees more value both in terms of cost and innings produced. He's particularly young (27), which equals longer club control if he'll re-sign during Winter Meetings. One thing stopping Cincinnati could involve Homer Bailey and Sean Marshall out with extended injuries, leaving question marks at the fifth starter spot. Really doesn't matter since the Yankees will gladly throw draft picks or international trade slots away now to contend now. Conversely, Cincinnati may regret letting Cueto go, too, which could mean Leake is pushed harder by Walt Jocketty.

New York Yankees are all in

It's true. Cashman is witnessing the revival of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, has enough young hitters to keep plating runs yet needs that one solid starter to refresh an aging rotation and push the New York Yankees into the World Series. For many guys on his team, it could be now or never. So expect these moves to materialize soon.

[Photo by Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport]