Looking at some possible waiver acquisitions

The 'stache edition of 'And Now It's Gone'
Brothers in uniform arms

As we’ve discussed before, the one thing the Yanks didn’t nail down at the non-waiver trade deadline was another starting pitcher. They’re not looking for much…just an upgrade over Ponson and Rasner. Ian Kennedy might be the remedy for the latter, since their starts line up. In fact, if I were a betting man I might place a few dollars on Kennedy getting the start against the Angels Friday night.

Still, can we trust Ponson to stay effective in the rotation? For every start like he had against the Angels on Friday night, he’ll have one or two like he had against the Rangers earlier, or against the Red Sox on that gloomy Sunday night. If you can find a more stable piece, you have to make the move.

Where would we find one? Tim at MLB Trade Rumors takes a look at the American League waiver trade candidates. Clearly, there are no guarantees here; it’s just another place to look for scrap heap options. Tomorrow he’ll have the NL up, and we’ll take a look in that direction.

Unfortunately, there are slim pickings in the AL. Kevin Millwood’s contract makes him a bit prohibitive. He has a guaranteed $11 million coming his way next year, and a conditional $12 million for 2010. He has to pitch 540 innings from 2007 through 2009, 360 innings from 2008 through 2009, or 180 innings in 2009. Clearly, he could just hit that 180 mark next year and it’ll vest. He’s got 281 innings between last year and this year, and 108.1 this year. He’s been on the DL since June 26, retroactive to the 24th, with a groin injury. Given all this, I think we can put a resounding NO stamp on Millwood.

The Rangers also have Vicente Padilla, though he’s got $12 million guaranteed for next year, plus a $1.75 million buyout of his $12 million club option for 2010. He’s pitching to a 4.52 ERA over 127.1 IP this year, and really hasn’t been good since the 2003 season. There’s no reason to waste nearly $17 million on this guy.

Then there’s Jarrod Washburn, but it appears that ship has sailed. Miguel Batista also makes Tim’s list, but he’s rather horrible. Hey, Carlos Silva would probably clear waivers, too, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to make a deal for him.

While we haven’t seen the NL list of waiver trade candidates, it looks like this cupboard will be bare. It’s best that the Yanks make the best of what they’ve got.

The 'stache edition of 'And Now It's Gone'
Brothers in uniform arms
  • MD

    lots of bad money here….but history shows lefthanders can make a significant improvement when coming to Yankee Stadium, so beyond Washburn, maybe there is an NL lefty we can take a shot at for 2 months….

  • Joe

    I don’t think Cashman is willing to allow this team to go down without a fight, and I guarantee he is not content with the state of the rotation, but the outside options look pretty bad. The best case scenario is that he attempts to catch lighting in a bottle with Kennedy, Hughes, Aceves, or Pavano. Rasner’s numbers were great until he had a few starts, I wouldn’t discount one of these guys having the same impact. Reality is, they only need to not be horrible. On the topic, does anyone know how Ponson did what he did friday? Did he do anything different, or was it just dumb luck?

    • A.D.

      Pudge factor??? Its mostly luck of the draw, Angels are impatient, probably swung at some balls that were easy grounders, where other players would have taken those pitches and gotten into a hitters count

  • http://www.immaculateinning.com mehmattski

    I’d vastly prefer a promising youngster like Hughes or Kennedy to an expensive veteran like Millwood or Padilla. If we’re going to get league-average pitching, it’s better that it’s cheap league-average pitching.

    • steve (different one)

      sure, but if Hughes and Kennedy were actually league average, the Yankees would be running away with the division.

      that doesn’t mean i disagree with you. i can’t wait until Hughes comes back.

      but league average for the yankees this year is around 4.18 ERA.

      does anyone think Kennedy is ready to do that? i would love it, and i don’t really want to see Millwood anywhere near this team, but i think finding league average starters is easier said than done.

      • http://www.immaculateinning.com mehmattski

        2008 ERA+ of pitchers mentioned in this post:

        Millwood: 78
        Padilla: 93
        Washburn: 85
        Batista: 63
        Silva: 68

        I’m very confident that either Hughes or Kennedy can beat everyone there for the rest of the season.

        • steve (different one)

          sure, and Kennedy is at 56.

          why do we think he’ll suddenly drop his ERA from 7.41 to around 4.75?

          there is really nothing about his performance in the majors that is positive.

          i agree that a healthy Hughes should be able to outpitch most of those guys.

          and don’t get me wrong, i think i’d rather see Kennedy over Rasner very soon. my point was just that as crappy as those guys have been, Kennedy was much worse.

          • http://www.immaculateinning.com mehmattski

            I think Kennedy’s three starts in 2007 were positive.

            That, combined with four consecutive solid starts (including a near no-hitter) at AAA suggest that he’s overcome his control issues. If his walk rate stays low, he will be a competent pitcher in the majors. Minor league stats aren’t completely worthless, you know…

            • steve (different one)

              If his walk rate stays low, he will be a competent pitcher in the majors.

              and if my aunt had balls, she’d be my uncle. that’s a pretty big “if”, since he has yet to do that.

              i’m not debating he will eventually be a competent pitcher in the majors, i am asking why should expect league average pitching *RIGHT NOW* in the majors.

              Minor league stats aren’t completely worthless, you know

              sure, and his walk rate wasn’t that great in the minors either. about 3 per 9 IP. and it was more than 3 per 9 IP coming into this season

              for a guy who is touted as a control pitcher, his control wasn’t really THAT good last year.

              so, again, if a guy is walking 3 per 9 in the minors, why should we expect a “low” walk rate in the majors?

  • http://Thumb? Mike T

    I’d really like to see IPK get the spot. Especially while Moose is still around. Would be a great mentor. Off subject: I’m an old fart who grew up in the Bleachers and I get all my Yankee talk from RAB. I live about 5000 miles away from the Bronx and I watch most games on MLB extra innings. (for some reason they black out Oakland, Seattle and the Angels, but I get the Angels on FSW) I’ve been asking everyone I know back home to see if they can get me a dvd of the old timer day festivities. I’ve tried Yankees.com and yesnetwork.com. Does anyone know where I can get one. If anyone has it I’d like to buy a copy. I had to rely on NESPN (New England Sports Network) (did you hear Crok Kruk’s usual nasty snide remarks about Pudge’s FIRST home run?) but they had about 3 seconds of footage.

  • Count Zero

    I could be misremembering on this, but didn’t IPK have a lot of trouble with the running game in his early starts this year? If so, do you really want his return to MLB start to be against the Halos? From a confidence standpoint that is.

    • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

      Posada was doing most of his catching. Pudge should have an affect on the running game ; )

    • http://www.immaculateinning.com mehmattski

      In 37.2 innings, Kennedy has had 7 stolen base attempts against him, and the runners were caught twice. Actually, Posada did not catch Kennedy at all this season, he was split between Molina (124 PA) and Moeller (49 PA).

      Hughes, meanwhile, has allowed 8 SB (with no CS) in his 22 innings this season. Perhaps that’s who you were remembering?

      • Count Zero

        You could be right.

        I seem to remember not so much the SBs, but one of them having trouble holding guys on and getting totally distracted by the runner at first — as in “having trouble throwing strikes” distracted.

        • http://www.immaculateinning.com mehmattski

          Kennedy, 2008
          None on: 96 PA .264/.333/.437
          Men on: 82 PA .300/.432/.567

          Runner on 1st:
          29 PA, .280/.379/.520

          Those sample sizes aren’t enough to tell us much of anything. And most pitchers are worse when there’s runners on base. But this season Kennedy has walked more with men on than with men off.

      • Count Zero

        Of course Michael Kay could probably tell us that both of them have a much higher ERA with runners on than with the bases empty. ;-)

        • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com Steve S

          Wasn’t that Leiter?

  • A.D.

    Waiver wire isn’t looking pretty, most of those guys are available/would pass through waivers for really good reasons. I’d rather go with the guys in the system, even a guy like Jason Jones could potentially come in and do the same thing Padilla or Silva would do, but for a lot less. Mainly the issue is all the contracts involve another year or more. Let it ride with IPK/Hughes/Aceves/Chase wright and see what happens.

  • Bo

    Always smart to put the season in the hands of Ponson, Rasner or Kennedy.

    Cash may regret not getting that top starter last November.

    • steve (different one)

      that depends entirely on the career arc of Phil Hughes, which has yet to unfold.

      and posts like this are so disingenuous if you ignore Wang’s injury.

      if Cashman KNEW Wang would get hurt, maybe he would have traded for Santana. with Wang, this team looks like a playoff team.

      then you go into the offseason WITH Hughes and Kennedy and the ability to sign Sabathia.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Yes, Bo, clearly the struggles of the back end of our rotation are the fault of Brian Cashman and not at all related to the unpredictable injuries to Chien Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy or the fact that the only good starter on the market (Santana) was on a team that didn’t want to negotiate fairly with the dominant teams in its own league.


  • cult of basebaal

    phillip made the monday 10 pack over at BP, the velocity spike is BIG, if it’s for real:

    Technically, he’s not really a prospect any more, but he’s still a young unproven player. Based on what Hughes showed on Saturday, though, he could be a factor in the post-season race. Once the top pitching prospect in the game, Hughes made his second rehab appearance since recovering from a rib injury on Saturday, absolutely dominating Sally League hitters, allowing one hit in 3 2/3 shutout innings while striking out five. More important was how good Hughes’ stuff was, as his fastball sat in the low 90s and consistently touched 94-95—the kind of velocity he showed frequently in the minors, but rarely with the Yanks. While neither he nor Ian Kennedy have played the expected roles in the big-league level this year, they both might come September.

    • Ivan

      That is good news. If he can maintain that Mid 90’s fastball he will be in good shape and also develop a third pitch. The guy has the stuff to be a front-line guy.

  • RustyJohn

    I’m telling you all that Pavano is going to rise from the ashes and save the team- there’ll be a tie in the standings and a one game play-off and Pavano will have this moment of clarity- to quote Lou Manheim, he’ll look into the abyss and find his character. And before the one game play-off, he’ll also hook up with Alyssa Milano and, after nailing her, get up off the bed, take out a cigarette, light it, take a drag and look at her and say, “Now get the fuck out of here.” Then he’ll go to the stadium and throw a no-hitter.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Raul votes “yes” on this comment.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos