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Yankees pursuing Kennedy, De La Rosa

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Tied for the second Wild Card spot in the American League just days before Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, the bruised and battered New York Yankees appear to be making another push to upgrade a rotation that has just Hiroki Kuroda remaining from the Opening Day roster.

ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported on Thursday night that the Yankees are in talks with the San Diego Padres, from whom they just acquired third baseman Chase Headley on Tuesday, for right-handed pitcher Ian Kennedy. Kennedy got his first tastes of the major leagues as a member of the Yankees before being moved to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the deal that brought Curtis Granderson to New York.

Kennedy, 29, sports an 8-9 record for San Diego this season, with a 3.66 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 135 1/3 innings pitched. He remains under team control through next season. However, Bowden indicates that the Padres are seeking two of the Yankees’ first-round picks from a year ago – Eric Jagielo and Ian Clarkin – in return for Kennedy.

The Yankees have not limited their options to Kennedy. Bowden reports that the Yankees are also “in discussions” with the Colorado Rockies regarding pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, who is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in the month of July. Overall, the 33-year-old impending free agent is 11-6 with a 4.19 ERA in the unfriendly confines of Coors Field.

However, the Rockies are said to be asking a steep price in order to move the left-handed De La Rosa, and a deal might have to involve a major league piece such as Francisco Cervelli, who the Rockies have watched extensively in the past. They also had scouts in Trenton on Thursday, where top pitching prospect Luis Severino was making his home debut for the Yankees Double-A affiliate.

A deal with Colorado for De La Rosa could develop into a blockbuster of sorts. While shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is not said to be available, the team could be open to moving Wilin Rosario, a right-handed power bat who could catch, play first base, and possibly see some time in the outfield.