Friday, October 3, 2008

Plan B?

The Yankees will almost definitely have to sign a free agent starting pitcher. Obviously, C.C. Sabathia is the best guy available. However, it looks increasingly likely he will not not come to the Yankees. The three other guys who are the most likely options are Ben Sheets, A.J. Burnett, and Derek Lowe.

Ben Sheets has been an ace when healthy. He flat out dominates and could be the true #1 the Yankees would love to get. However, their's two problems with him. First, he`d be coming over from the NL. Second, he`s a HUGE injury risk. This screams of the Carl Pavano signing. Its extremely tempting to go after him. However, ideally I would say no.

A.J. Burnett is probably the most popular of these guys among Yankees fans. He`s pitched in the AL East for the past few years and he`s killed the Yankees and Red Sox. Again though, their`s problems. He`s only slightly less of an injury risk then Sheets and he`s really not been as good. He`s been hyped as an ace which he just isn't. I`m totally against signing Burnett. I think it would be a major mistake.

Derek Lowe is the least hyped of these guys. Nobody would mistake him for an ace but he`s a reliable #3 or #2. He`s had no major injury problems. He`s a ground ball pitcher but he also maintains a very good K/BB. He`s also been through the AL East before. Looking back at his last year in Boston it seems like a disaster. However, his periphereals indicate it was more a lack of luck then a lack of skill.

Their`s pretty much no guarantees for the Yankees rotation next year. Wang should be fine but is coming off of an injury, Pettitte and Mussina may not be back and if they are then they will still be one year older, Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy are certainly no sure things, and I would hesitate to call Joba a sure thing as well. Do you want to gamble on a Ben Sheets or A.J. Burnett as well? I think they need to take the safe bet in Lowe and hope Hughes and Joba can emerge as front end of the rotation starters.

3 comments:

Peter Lacock said...

Mike,
I'm with ya on Sheets & Burnett. Stay away from them.
Lowe is OK although depending on what Moose & Pettitte do, you might not want to be so old. Personally, I'd take all 3 old guys because you never have too much pitching. Plus, if Joba is to be a starter and they have to get creative with his innings, they'll all be needed.
One guy that interested me on the FA list is Jon Garland. His stats aren't great but he's steady, eats innings and he's pitched on a World Series winner. He might again this year. He'll be 29 next year and some pitchers don't reach their potential until they're his age.

Anonymous said...

Grwat post man

Mike NYY said...

If we can somehow convince both Pettitte and Mussina to come back and sign Lowe that gives us this:

1) Wang
2) Lowe
3) Mussina
4) Pettitte
5) Joba

Its more likely that Mussina at least will leave.

We need as many solid starters as we can get as you said.

I`m not a fan of Garland though. He`s just not that good. His periphereals are unimpressive. Someone will give him a big deal. I`d stay away from a guy like that.