As my blog partner previously stated, Mark Prior is available from the Cubbies in trade. While many are advocating running for the hills, I believe picking up Prior would be a great move by the Yanks.
First, it will not take an awful lot to get him (Kyle 'The Mop' Farnsworth and a little cash?), and therefore this is a low risk, potentially high reward move for the Yanks.
What makes Prior available is the fact that he is arbitration eligable. Under arb rules I believe the Cubs HAVE to offer a figure within 20% of his previous year's salary - $3.575mm. In other words, the Cubs would need to offer at least $2.86mm for '08; something they either don't want to do, or don't think he'd accept.
If the Yanks were to get Prior in a trade I would like to see a 2 year guaranteed offer of $6-8 mm ($3 or $4mm per) with a vesting option for a third year. Should he start 50 games in the first 2 years of the contract a 3rd year @ $12mm would vest.
There is no doubt that Prior possesses amazing talent; the only question is his health. Many people believe that the surgery Prior had in April was long overdue, and that had he had the surgery earlier he would have resumed his dominant career much earlier.
Regardless of the timing of the surgery the fact is that Prior's surgery was successful, his shoulder has been pronounced sound, and there should be nothing standing in his way. Imagine a healthy Prior, Pettitte, Wang, Joba and Hughes as the Yankee starting 5 in '08 - wow! Not only is this a dominant rotation, but it would allow Joba and Phil to move to the back-end of the rotation as well. Being a 4 and 5 would allow the Yanks to lessen not only the expectations for the 2 young studs, but also lessen the '08 workload as well. Ideally the Yanks should limit both to around 170 innings this year - something far easier to do if they are not expected to carry the team to the playoffs.
Based on the potential upside, the cost, and the ancillary benefits to the rotation, - Brian...go get Prior!