According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports , the Yankees have made improving the bench and bullpen their priority, but that doesn’t mean that they haven’t been keeping tabs on starters Roy Oswalt , Dan Haren , and Jake Westbrook . One pitcher whom they aren’t interested in is former Yankee LHP Ted Lilly .

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Yankees are actually interested in dealing for either pitcher, just that they’re doing their due diligence. General manager Brian Cashman insists that they are not looking to add a starter in the wake of Andy Pettitte’s groin injury. However, the last thing the Yankees want is to see some other team acquire one of those starters if they were within a price that they were willing to pay.

Oswalt, 32, has spent his entire career with the Astros, but has asked to be traded. He is 6-11 with a 3.12 ERA and an ERA+ of 133 in 19 starts this season. He’s earning $15 million this season and is owed $16 million next year with a $16 million club option for 2012.

Haren, 29, is having an off year for himself. In 21 games he’s got a 7-8 record with a 4.60 ERA and a 98 ERA+. He’s currently in the second year of a four year $44.75 million deal. He’s owed the remainder of his $8.25 million this year and $12.75 million each of the next two years. He also has a club option worth $15.5 million for 2013 with a $3.5 million buyout.

Of the three Westbrook, 32, is the most likely to actually get dealt because he’s a veteran in the final year of his contract on a bad team. He’s also not Type-A or B free agent so he won’t be getting the Indians any draft picks this offseason. He’s 6-6 with a 4.74 ERA and an 84 ERA+ this season.

It’s hard to say exactly why the Yankees are not interested in Lilly except that maybe they expect the asking price to be too high. He’s better than Westbrook, but only slightly and because of that and his better track record of staying injury free maybe the Yankees expect the Cubs to want too much for him. Or maybe the Yankees realize how well they hit Lilly, 2-7 with a 6.09 ERA lifetime against them, and are hoping that he goes to a rival.

Either way, I don’t expect the Yankees to add a starter at the deadline. They’re likely just checking in on the market. If anything does develop, as usual, we’ll let you know.

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