• Girardi: Yanks To Add Experienced Starter(s)

    Posted by on September 29th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    You know, if the 2009 season were to start the minute after the final out of the 2008 World Series, the Yankees starting rotation would be:

    Chien-Ming Wang, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Darrell Rasner, and Alfredo Aceves – with Ian Kennedy and Kei Igawa in reserve.

    So, when Joe Girardi says the Yankees plan to upgrade their rotation with experienced pitchers, you better believe it.

    In a perfect world, you want Wang and Chamberlain to have two slots in the rotation, with Hughes, Aceves, and friends fighting for another spot. That leaves two spots to be filled from somewhere else.

    It’s starting to look like Mike Mussina will retire – so, he’s probably not going to be an option. Andy Pettitte? He might come back on a one-year deal. And, he would be fine as a “fourth guy” in front of whoever wins that last spot between Hughes and others.

    Yet, even if you get Pettitte, you still need one more solid and above-average guy for the rotation. This is where guys like CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Jon Garland, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Oliver Perez and Brad Penny come into play. Or, maybe you have to end up trading for a guy like Gil Meche or Justin Duchscherer.

    There’s little room for error here. Everyone wants starting pitching. So, the Yankees are going to have to pick the right guy and make a hard play to get it done. You can’t pull a “Pavano” this time. So, let’s hope that the team really does their homework, correctly, when bringing in that experienced pitcher.

    Comments on Girardi: Yanks To Add Experienced Starter(s)

    1. antone
      September 29th, 2008 | 4:13 pm

      Steve, who would you like in the 3rd spot?

      Burnett looks like he’s going to sign an extension with the Blue Jays. Sheets scares me. The safe bet is Lowe but he doesn’t offer any upside.

    2. September 29th, 2008 | 4:23 pm

      I’d have to give it some hard thought…

    3. Tex Antoine
      September 29th, 2008 | 4:26 pm

      Why are we even reserving a spot for the winner of Phil Hughes/Alfredo Aceves Derby? Their spot shouldn’t be the fifth spot, it should the SIXTH spot—as in, they start the season in AAA and if somebody who’s already proved he can pitch at the major league level pulls his hamstring, they get called up. The Yankees need to get away from the Cashman “Let’s catch lightning in a bottle” approach to filling out their roster.

    4. antone
      September 29th, 2008 | 4:26 pm

      Yeah I don’t think there is an easy answer…which is probably not good considering Cashman is the one who is making the decision.

    5. Raf
      September 29th, 2008 | 4:46 pm

      Well, with innings limits, you’re looking at some combination of Chamberlain, Kennedy & Hughes.

    6. Scout
      September 29th, 2008 | 5:15 pm

      For starters (no pun intended), the Yankees can and should open the bank vault in an effort to entice C.C. to the Bronx. There simply is no one else close to that level who is likely to be available. I also side with the view that Hughes et al should be treated as number six starters. So the team ought to look for five pitchers. I would encourage cashman to work hard to lure Mussina back, because the other options are not appealing and the competition will be intense. Sheets is too much of an injury risk; I am not convinced Burnett is set on going back to Toronto. Probably, then, it will be necessary to explore trading some of Cahman’s prized assets, along with free agent possibilities. Perhaps the Cubs want to unload Ted Lilly? 🙂

    7. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      September 29th, 2008 | 5:17 pm

      Neither Burnett nor Sheets are worth the injury risk. Has anyone noticed that every time A.J. has a good year, pitches a lot of innings, he gets hurt the next year? Almost as clockwork as A-Rod with his on-again, off-again MVP years.

      If Wang and Joba could be counted on to be aces for a full season, the Yanks could do well to bring in Lowe. Antone is right that isn’t a lot of upside but there’s something to be said for his kind of consistency.

      But to push the Yankee staff over into being truly dangerous at crunch time, I don’t see how the only way they can pass on Sabathia is if they package enough youngsters to get an established, young ace. How about Hughes, Kennedy, and at least one of Melky & Cano for Linecum? They could also slip Matsui into that package, if absolutely necessary. Its giving up a lot but Lineceum has to be the most sought after young pitcher in the game.

      So that’s how it boils down for me – go as hard as possible for Sabathia, because he’s needed and because the team can afford it even if he eats himself out of the league after four years. Or package the young talent for someone young and established. Stay away from Sheets and Burnett, either one will be Pavano II.

    8. MJ
      September 29th, 2008 | 5:38 pm

      Almost as clockwork as A-Rod with his on-again, off-again MVP years.
      It’s comical that that winning 3 MVP’s in five seasons is phrased as a back-handed compliment.

      CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, Derek Lowe, Jon Garland, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Oliver Perez and Brad Penny come into play. Or, maybe you have to end up trading for a guy like Gil Meche or Justin Duchscherer.
      +Sheets/Burnett are major injury risks. Penny might be too. Not worth it.
      +Garland could come on the cheap since he picked his FA year to pitch like crap down the stretch.
      +Lohse/Dempster are NL creations that would get lit up like the Rockerfeller Center Christmas tree in the AL.
      +Meche at $11M is, gulp, a well-priced pitcher in this market. He’s been pretty decent in stretches for KC the last two years.
      +I need to see more from Duchscherer before I trade anything of value for him. It’s not too often that you see a career middle reliever become a Cy Young candidate as a starter.

      As much as I don’t believe in giving pitchers $20M contracts and as much as the Brewers “UCLA’ed” Sabathia by squeezing extraneous pitches and innings out of his arm, I’d rather make a $150M mistake on the best available player than a $75M mistake on a piece of crap. Sabathia might represent a potential costlier mistake but at least if you’re going to go down in flames, you go down swinging. The Yanks can’t accept a borderline scrub for half the price. The pricetag alone can’t be the motivating factor.

    9. butchie22
      September 29th, 2008 | 6:34 pm

      Antone, I get the same feeling ’bout Burnett. I think he is going to stay in Toronto. He’s better cast there anyway: his beloved pitching coach Brad Arnsberg is there, he is buddy-buddy with Halladay and Ricciardi is stupid enough to give him anything he wants. On the Yanks, he is just an accident waiting to happen.

      Once I was I like your trade for Tim L BUT Toronto tried to sleaze him away by trading away Rios straight up and almost got him. Sabean almost made another of his stupid trades again but changed his mind. The key to any trade for one of the young Giants pitchers is offense. Cano plus Austin Jackson and the Kennedy Hughes Experiment might get it done for only Cain alone. At this point Lincey is off the table.

      CC seems to be the best thing even with the innings he’s pitched this year. Yes, the dude is fat but he is a great pitcher. The Yanks are only throwing money at him and that’s it. MJ , I agree with going with the best at a premium price (Dice-K) rather than a cheaper option(Igawa). Suzyn Waldman commented on how CC and AJ should be here next year, well I don’t know about that BUT the Yanks should make the best offer and then see what happens otherwise.

    10. gphunt
      September 29th, 2008 | 9:47 pm

      “Almost as clockwork as A-Rod with his on-again, off-again MVP years.”


      Give him his three weeks back that he missed back at the beginning of the season and he’s got the best “numbers” in the AL…..

    11. September 29th, 2008 | 10:05 pm

      Best numbers…maybe. But, most valuable?

    12. September 29th, 2008 | 10:06 pm

      BTW, take Kyle Lohse off the list today. Cards locked him up.

    13. Don
      September 30th, 2008 | 2:17 am

      As Steve pointed out a few days ago, A-Freud was awful the last two months or so.

    14. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      September 30th, 2008 | 8:42 am

      And furthermore, the issue isn’t whether its a backhanded compliment, its that just as A-Rod has consistently followed up MVP-seasons with less stunning seasons, so has Burnett followed up strong seasons with injury-plagued ones:

      29 starts, 204 innings
      4 starts, 23 innings

      32 starts, 209 innings
      21 starts, 135 innings

      34 starts, 221 innings

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