NEW YORK—Though they shy away from using the word "untouchable" to describe their prospects, the Yankees do hold a few in such high regard that the cost of acquiring them is prohibitive.
Back in January 2005, the Diamondbacks could have had Robinson Cano when they traded Randy Johnson to New York.
The same was not true, however, for 22-year-old righthander Dellin Betances when the Mariners asked about him during negotiations for Cliff Lee.
That didn't kill the deal—the Mariners were willing go forward without Betances—but it's indicative of the regard the Yankees hold for their 2006 eighth-round pick from Brooklyn's Grand Street Campus High.
The 6-foot-8, 245-pound Betances has charted slow progress through the system in his five pro seasons. He hasn't yet reached Double-A, and he had Tommy John surgery last August, pushing back his debut this year.
In an encouraging turn, the mechanical flaws that led to wildness weren't present when Betances returned to action on June 10.
"He used his time away from the mound to work on that," farm director Mark Newman said. "Usually when they come back from surgery, it takes a while to get their feet on the ground."
Betances has shown no rust through his first seven starts for high Class A Tampa, going 4-0, 1.00 with 42 strikeouts and nine walks over 36 innings. Opposing batters managed just a .135 average, while and righthanders barely had a chance, going 5-for-65 (.077).
Betances has pitched at 93 mph this season, topping out at 98 with command of his fastball. A promotion to Double-A Trenton seemed like a distinct possibility, though the Yankees may opt to take it slow in light of Betances' injury history.
In addition to the recent elbow surgery, he also missed five weeks in 2008 with a shoulder issue, while in '07 he made just six starts because of an inflamed right elbow.
• The Yankees considered promoting Scranton/Wilkes-Barre shortstop Eduardo Nunez, a Triple-A all-star, to add both an offensive threat to the bench and another infield option.
• The Yankees called up righthander Dustin Moseley, who went 4-4, 4.21 in 12 starts for Scranton, striking out 55 in 73 innings, to serve as a middle reliever. Moseley, 28, could have opted out of his contract had he not received the promotion.