Would the real Mike Mussina please stand up?

Down on the Farm
Red Sox rough up get shut down by Jeff Weaver

While researching this comment, I came across some interesting information that makes me believe the Yanks were duped into giving Mike Mussina a contract longer and for more money than he deserved. Now, I don’t think Mike Mussina himself was responsible for that duping. Rather, the Yankees were simply blind to Mussina’s performance.

One year ago today, Mike Mussina was 9-3 with a 3.28 ERA. He had an 8.0 K/9 IP ratio and was averaging 6.2 innings per start. Since then, Mussina has gone 9-9 with a 4.32 ERA. His K/9 IP is down to 6.8 and he now averages fewer than 5.2 innings per start. That is an across-the-board decline that shows no indication of letting up. Moose is, obviously, one year older today than he was a year ago, and old pitchers don’t get better.

The Yankees paid for the Mike Mussina that pitched for them from April through June of 2006. They are stuck with a declining Mike Mussina for this year and beyond. For those of you expecting Mike Mussina to be Mike Mussina of old, you should probably just expect an old Mike Mussina instead.

Down on the Farm
Red Sox rough up get shut down by Jeff Weaver
  • Rich

    His inability to hold a lead against Detroit in the ALDS should have been a large red flag.

    That is why I was opposed to giving him a two year contract.

    Too bad Cashman didn’t feel the same way.

  • Jon

    They also paid him $12M a year for 2 years, when guys like Miguel Batista were getting nearly as much over more years.

    I agree that we shouldn’t expect the Mussina of old, but this is still not a bad contract.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben

    This is a terrible contract. If $12 million buys you an old pitcher with a losing record and a 5.00 ERA, then maybe baseball economics is more messed up than we thought. Do you really want an even older Mike Mussina on this team next year?

  • Jon

    Jason Marquis got $21M/3 for an ERA over 6 in the NL Central. You need more evidence that baseball economics is messed up?

    And not that Mussina has been great or anything, but his FIP is 4.62, and his ERA since he came back 4.57. So you could estimate that his FIP since he came back is in the 4.30 range.

    I’ve given up trying to predict pitching. You say “Marquis is getting $7M a year, we’ll just bring up our minor leaguers, surely they can put up a 6.00 ERA for the league minimum. But they can’t, and yet other minor leaguers on other teams who looked no better than, say, Clippard, have ERAs in the high 3s.

    Mussina hasn’t been worth $12M this year, but given what pitchers were getting, it was not a bad deal at all. I even remember people whining about the Yankees getting a hometown discount.

  • Joe