• NewsOK Looks At Yankees F.A. Pitching Moves

    Posted by on January 27th, 2010 · Comments (14)

    Berry Tramel, in the Oklahoman, lists his best and worst free agent pitching moves made by the Yankees:

    Best value free-agent pitchers

    →5. David Cone, 1996, 3-year, $18M: Cone went 39-15 over three years with a 3.15 earned run average. He won 20 games in 1998, and after the Yanks were down two games to Atlanta in the ’96 World Series, Cone beat the Braves 5-2 in Game 3, launching the new dynasty.

    →4. Orlando Hernandez, 1998, 4-year, $6.6M: Bargain-basement money for a pitcher who in those four years made 99 starts and went 45-33 on teams that won three World Series.

    →3. Jimmy Key, 1993, 4-year, $16.8M: Went 35-10 his first two seasons, 48-23 over the four years and won Game 6 of that ’96 World Series.

    →2. Goose Gossage, 1978, 6-year, $2.8M: $466,666 a year is quaint money for now, but it was a big investment 32 years ago. And it paid off: 308 games pitched, 150 saves, 2.10 earned run average and seven post-season saves.

    →1. Mike Mussina, 2001, 6-year, $88.5M: A dream free agent. Always healthy, always reliable. In those six years, Mussina made 187 starts, always posted a winning record and went 92-53. To top it off, signed on for two more years and went 31-19.

    Worst value free-agent pitchers

    →5. Kyle Farnsworth, 2006, 3-year, $17.5M: Signed as a setup man for Mariano Rivera, Farnsworth went 6-9 with a 4.33 ERA, not really terrible performance, but he was widely disliked.

    →4. Roger Clemens, 2007, 1-year, $18M (prorated): Clemens signed in May, having been a dominant pitcher for a quarter century, but the gig was up. He went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA.

    →3. Jaret Wright, 2005, 3-year, $21M: A 15-8 record for Atlanta after years of struggle got Wright a big payday. In two Bronx seasons, he went 16-12 combined with a 4.99 ERA and was traded to Baltimore for Chris Britton.

    →2. Carl Pavano, 2005, 4-year, $40M: Pavano rarely pitched — 17 starts in three years — before he was traded to Cleveland. But he was awful when he did pitch; a 5.00 ERA.

    →1. Kei Igawa, 2007, 5-year, $20M (plus $26M Japan posting fee): Igawa spent all of 2009 in the International League at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In two Yankee seasons, the Japanese left-hander was 2-4 with a 6.66 ERA in 16 games.

    What do you think of his lists?

    Me? I’m just amazed – well, not really – at how many “bad” ones were signed after October 2005 and how many “good” ones were signed before that time? And, I wonder if where CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett will fall on these lists, someday, when they’re near the end of their contracts with the Yankees?

    Comments on NewsOK Looks At Yankees F.A. Pitching Moves

    1. YankCrank
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:31 pm

      I think if you held a gun to my head, i’d say AJ would be more likely to end up on the bad list for the length of his deal, and CC won’t be on either list. He’s likely to opt out of his deal after year three and will not make enough of an impact by then.

      Not saying i’m right or wrong, but if I had to make a call right now, that’s what i’d say.

    2. MJ
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:31 pm

      First, CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett just played tremendously important roles in winning the 2009 World Series. As far as I’m concerned, their contracts are justified and anything further from this point is icing on the cake. To that end, they’re both on the good side of the ledger in my book, Sabathia’s especially. The man is a stud.

      Second, the Farnsworth and Pavano contracts were dogshit from the first second they were signed. Two atrocious mistakes by Cashman.

      Third, I have no idea if Jaret Wright was a Cashman idea or a Tampa idea. From everything we’ve heard about it, it looks like it was Tampa’s call. I won’t pin it on Cashman that a lousy pitcher was foisted upon him by his bosses.

      Fourth, I don’t agree with the writer’s inclusion of Clemens’s 2007 contract. I’m not sure I get the point in bashing a one year deal. There’s no long-term effect to the team so why complain about the deal as if it hurt the Yanks in some way?

      Why is a writer from Oklahoma writing about the Yanks anyway?

    3. MJ
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:33 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      CC won’t be on either list. He’s likely to opt out of his deal after year three and will not make enough of an impact by then.

      You think Sabathia opts out after the 2011 season? I guess it’ll depend on how next year’s free agency shapes up for Cliff Lee, Josh Beckett and others.

      I very much doubt Sabathia could do better on the open market so he should be very careful what he wishes for.

    4. YankCrank
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:42 pm

      @ MJ:

      My only reasoning is if he were to pitch equally in the next two years as he did last year. which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, he can very much increase his value.

      However, I think you’re right with next year’s FA crop. There’s no way Beckett or Lee top his $23 million annually. If somebody does exceed his annual value maybe he opts out, but you’re very right in doubting the possibility of that happening.

    5. MJ
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:42 pm

      I just read the whole link in that guy’s article. His #1 free agent pitching signing of all time was Jack Morris’s 1991 1Y/$3.7M contract with the Twins. He bases his decision on the fact that Morris pitched a 10-inning shutout in the World Series.

      OK, folks, we can officially ignore this writer. He failed to mention that in 1991, that would’ve made Morris one of the five most expensive pitchers in baseball. When you base your “winner” on one World Series game and the fact that $3.7M is no longer a lot of money, you’re a fu*kin’ idiot.

    6. MJ
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:43 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      At the very least, he might opt out only to re-negotiate with the Yanks. I could see that happening moreso than I can see him opting out and making more money in another city.

    7. Pat F
      January 27th, 2010 | 1:44 pm

      MJ wrote:

      First, CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett just played tremendously important roles in winning the 2009 World Series. As far as I’m concerned, their contracts are justified and anything further from this point is icing on the cake. To that end, they’re both on the good side of the ledger in my book, Sabathia’s especially. The man is a stud.

      made within the context of these rankings or not, totally, totally, totally agree with this statement. the main goal, before anything else, is to win the world series, and both of these players were immense in that. further, as mj said, cc is just the man. one of the best players i have ever seen where a uniform for a team i root for, any sport, when you consider the combination of talent/production and will to win/desire type intangibles. when he was on the hill late july on i just felt like he wasn’t going to let us lose. that game in baltimore (a-rod’s return homer game), when cc went the distance really sticks out in my head. mo was unavailable, and after allowing back to back singles to lead off the 9th, he struck out the middle of baltimore’s order to end the game. that type of stuff goes beyond talent for me. that’s being wired the way only certain athletes are (jordan being an extreme example). to me cc really has that. the signing was an A++++++++ in my eyes to the point where i don’t know if you can make a better pitching move. maybe as good, but not better.

    8. January 27th, 2010 | 2:18 pm

      FWIW, everything I’ve ever read said that Jaret Wright was 100% Tampa and 0% Cashman.

    9. YankCrank
      January 27th, 2010 | 2:26 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      FWIW, everything I’ve ever read said that Jaret Wright was 100% Tampa and 0% Cashman.

      As a Yankee fan, there are days you remember that have brought you so much joy that you’ll never forget them for the rest of your life. Great wins, perfect games, WS celebrations, etc.

      Conversely, the day I went to ESPN.com and saw that the Yankees signed Jaret Wright and Tony Womack on the same day is one i’ll never forget for very different reasons from what I posted above. I wanted to puke on my computer screen, gauge my eyes out with a spoon and jump out a very high window so I never had to witness them earning Yankee money and wearing Yankee pinstripes.

      What a terrible cluster-f*ck of signings that day.

    10. MJ
      January 27th, 2010 | 2:50 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      I couldn’t agree more. Tony Womack seemed like the reactionary signing that happens when a similarly one-dimensional player like Dave Roberts steals a base in the playoff game that sets off the chain of events to end the universe as you know it. It was idiotic to sign a player that lousy and even worse to sign him for such a blatanty transparent and reactionary reason.

      I liken it to when the Knicks drafted Frederic Weis out of France because he was 7′ tall and the Knicks had just lost to the dominant inside presence of Tim Duncan and David Robinson in the ’99 Finals just a few weeks before. The Knicks got crushed inside because Patrick Ewing was injured and Herb Williams/Chris Dudley/Buck Williams weren’t enough to stop San Antonio’s twin towers.

    11. Raf
      January 27th, 2010 | 7:32 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Fourth, I don’t agree with the writer’s inclusion of Clemens’s 2007 contract. I’m not sure I get the point in bashing a one year deal. There’s no long-term effect to the team so why complain about the deal as if it hurt the Yanks in some way?

      Not only that, there’s the context of the pitching staff on the DL.

    12. Raf
      January 27th, 2010 | 7:34 pm

      Pat F wrote:

      made within the context of these rankings or not, totally, totally, totally agree with this statement. the main goal, before anything else, is to win the world series, and both of these players were immense in that.

      Be that as it may, I can’t say an acquisition of a player is good because his team won a WS. Jeff Weaver pitched well in the 2006 postseason, I wouldn’t want him anywhere near a ballclub.

    13. Raf
      January 27th, 2010 | 7:35 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Conversely, the day I went to ESPN.com and saw that the Yankees signed Jaret Wright and Tony Womack on the same day is one i’ll never forget for very different reasons from what I posted above. I wanted to puke on my computer screen, gauge my eyes out with a spoon and jump out a very high window so I never had to witness them earning Yankee money and wearing Yankee pinstripes.

      What really puzzled me about the Wright signing is that he failed a physical and the Yanks still signed him.

    14. 77yankees
      January 27th, 2010 | 9:06 pm

      Catfish Hunter has to be on the best list somewhere. Yes, his production was a bit front loaded (40 wins the first two seasons, 23 the last three), but as Ron Guidry said in Cat’s Yankeeography, the great comeback in ’78 doesn’t happen without him.

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