ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- When reliever Rafael Soriano appears in a rehab game for the Class A Yankees in nearby Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, he won't be alone.
Eric Chavez will be joining him.
After going through baseball activities for a few weeks at the Yankees' Minor League complex, Chavez was cleared to play in his first rehab game on Tuesday, though manager Joe Girardi wasn't sure if he'd play the field or serve as a designated hitter.
Chavez has been out since May 5 with a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot and had been working his way back slowly.
How much longer until he returns? With Alex Rodriguez recently undergoing right knee surgery and Ramiro Pena being placed on the 15-day disabled list after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Monday, the Yankees need Chavez back sooner than later.
"I mean, he's been out for a while, so I think he's going to need some at-bats," Girardi said. "The question is, how long can he go in those first couple of games? That's the question. If he was out a shorter period of time, it'd probably be easier to build him up. But we need him to be able to play nine innings when he gets here, so that can take some time."
Chavez -- winner of six consecutive Gold Glove Awards before injuries derailed his career -- was a valuable commodity as a reserve third baseman and lefty pinch-hitter before being placed on the shelf. In his first 17 games, the 33-year-old hit .303, with a .410 on-base percentage.
Soriano, out since May 13 with right elbow inflammation, would probably need a minimum of three rehab appearances before being cleared to return, though Girardi hasn't provided a specific number.
Girardi not focused on potential additions
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Trade Deadline is 13 days away and the Yankees' starting-pitching needs have been a big talking point all year. Joe Girardi's club has been heavily linked to Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez -- seemingly one of few quality starters attainable via the trade market.
But the Yankees' skipper only wants to concern himself with who he has right now.
"I don't ever go through the what-ifs -- 'What if you're going to get this guy?'" Girardi said prior to Monday's game against the Rays. "I don't think you can count on that. My concern is how our guys are throwing, and if they're not throwing well, what do you do to fix it? How do you get them back on track? There's too many variables when you start talking about how to obtain people."
Reports have speculated that it would take a lot to obtain Jimenez, which is no surprise, considering he's locked up for a while and affordable.
The 27-year-old right-hander is signed through 2014 -- including the two club options the Rockies sport -- and he doesn't make any more than $8 million in either of those seasons. On the year, he's 5-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 18 starts, but his ERA is 2.56 since the start of June.
Jimenez would provide a boost for the Yankees' rotation. But he won't come cheap.
"We would have to be absolutely overwhelmed; it would have to be a Herschel Walker deal," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd recently said, in reference to the NFL trade that made the Dallas Cowboys a dynasty a couple decades ago.
Prospects Manuel Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova and Jesus Montero have come up as players from the Yankees the Rockies would be interested in. But several other teams are believed to have interest, and most reports still peg the possibility of a Jimenez deal as slim.
While talking to YES Network's Jack Curry on Monday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees "aren't going to do anything stupid" in their potential quest to add an arm. He also named Banuelos, Betances, Montero and Austin Romine as guys he has "no inclination to move."
"To be close, you'd have to get to the stage of exchanging names with other clubs, and I haven't done that," Cashman added to ESPNNewYork.com. "I have had no conversations with any other team regarding anyone. And besides, I don't think I'll find anyone on the market who is better than [Phil] Hughes, or [Bartolo] Colon or [Rafael] Soriano."
Hughes provided an encouraging outing while hurling his first quality start and notching his first win on Sunday. But Colon and Freddy Garcia each struggled to begin the second half, raising questions of whether the Yankees have already received the best from their two back-of-the-rotation starters.
In tune with that, Girardi was asked if he felt his rotation was good enough without a major addition.
"This is what we have, yeah," he responded. "This is what we have, and we've gotten to this point because of that, and they've thrown the ball really well and there's no reason that can't continue."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.