With the Philadelphia Phillies sneaking in at the last minute to steal Cliff Lee away from the New York Yankees (as well as the Texas Rangers), Yankees GM Brian Cashman is scrambling to find pitching.
The Yankees recently signed former Cub Mark Prior and are rumored to be interested in the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano, as well as free agent Kerry Wood. If that doesn't smack of desperation, I don't know what does.
Pursuing Zambrano makes some sense for the Yankees, as they now have former Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild as their coach and he helped Zambrano return to form down the stretch this year.
Perhaps Jim Hendry can use Cashman's desperation against him and dump the albatross Zambrano contract on the Yankees without having to eat a significant chunk of it. However, it seems unlikely to happen, as Zambrano still has a no-trade clause and may not want to leave Chicago and the Yankees may not want to deal with Zambrano and his shenanigans.
The other effect that the Lee signing is that the available pitchers are now more in demand and thus the price on possible Cubs trade targets Matt Garza and Zach Greinke has just gone up. This just makes it more likely that the Cubs will end up signing Brandon Webb or some other bounce-back candidate.
One thing is for sure, with the thin free agent pitching market, we will see more pitchers being traded this offseason. Whether that means that Hendry can finally dump Zambrano on some other team is uncertain, but I am sure he will check into the possibility.