- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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With Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline fast approaching, the New York Yankees don't see anyone on the market right now who could come in and be an automatic replacement for Joba Chamberlain as the new bridge to Mariano Rivera, a baseball official with knowledge of the team's thinking said.
"If there was a guy like that [available], the whole industry would be running after him," the baseball official said.
Royals All-Star closer Joakim Soria, 26, fits the criteria of what the Yankees are looking for in a new eighth-inning man and the two teams have talked.
"I've had discussions with most GMs in baseball and have been very transparent in our intentions," Royals GM Dayton Moore said in a phone interview.
According to the official connected to the Yankees, Moore's intention is not to trade Soria. Soria, who is under a favorable contract for the Royals, also has the Yankees on his no-trade list, a baseball official told ESPNNewYork.com earlier in the week.
If nothing changes by Saturday, then, in the short term, Chamberlain will either need to regain top form or be replaced by someone like David Robertson. In the long term, Phil Hughes could be headed back to the Yankees' bullpen for the playoffs if no suitable eighth-inning man emerges.
The Yankees could very well still fortify their bullpen, but it might not be on the level they ultimately crave.
The Blue Jays' Scott Downs, for example, is not considered on Soria's level. Downs is exceptional against lefties, holding them to a .182 average heading into Thursday. He is pretty good against righties, too, keeping them in check at a .232 average.
The Blue Jays are reportedly asking for top prospects in return for Downs, who is a free agent at the end of the season.
Finally, the Yankees have interest in Adam Dunn, the baseball official with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking said. The thought would be to make the Nationals slugger their designated hitter. As of Thursday afternoon, though, talks were not close.
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1dAndrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews