Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop …
The Yankees, perhaps as concerned about their offensive issues as their rotation, are looking at outfielder Josh Willingham and some other bats.
The Yankees may actually prefer Willingham to Marlon Byrd or Alex Rios, perhaps partly because of Willingham’s reasonable $7 million salary and status as a free agent after the season.
Rios is getting a $12 million salary this year from the Rangers and carries a $14 million club option (or a $2 million buyout) for 2015.
Byrd is making an $8 million salary this season from the Phillies and is owed another $8 million salary in 2015. The 36-year-old corner outfielder also has an $8 million vesting option for the 2016 campaign.
Willingham, 35, is batting .215/.357/.420 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI through 56 games this season.
The Yankees want to upgrade over right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has been forced into the lineup.
The Yankees placed Nestor Cortes on the 15-day injured list with a left rotator cuff strain that will sideline the left-hander for at least two starts.
The move is retroactive to Monday and Cortes will be shut down for at least 15 days.
After Tuesday’s game, Cortes said the shoulder has been bothering him between starts and more so after he pitched five innings May 30 in Seattle.
“I took two days off and when I got to LA and threw that first day, I didn’t feel right,” Cortes said Tuesday. “But it was first day coming back from pitching so I knew it was going to be nagging a little bit. So I waited a little bit.
“That second day in LA was when I said something because it felt like I had pitched yesterday. So I wasn’t recovering in time.”
Cortes is 5-2 with a 5.16 ERA in 11 starts and has particularly struggled later in outings. Opponents are hitting .447 when facing him for the third time in a game.
Last year, Cortes was an All-Star and went 12-4 with a 2.44 ERA in 28 starts.
Randy Vásquez was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to take Cortes’ spot in the rotation and will make his second career start in Thursday’s doubleheader. Vásquez made his major league debut May 26 against San Diego when the Yankees needed a starter because Domingo Germán was serving a 10-game suspension for using sticky substances.