Yanks’ offseason pitching plan, part three

A new toy for the new Stadium
Game 139: A must-win

We know the Yanks badly want CC Sabathia. We’ve heard they’re interested in fellow Brewer ace Ben Sheets as Plan B. Now, Ken Rosenthal reports rumblings we’ve heard for a while: A.J. Burnett, who holds an opt-out clause and can file for free agency, plans to draw significant interest from the both the Red Sox and the Yankees. Burnett is clearly the Yanks’ third choice, but blocking him from going to the Red Sox or at least increasing his demands would be a worthy cause. (Hat tip to the ever-reliable MLBTR.)

A new toy for the new Stadium
Game 139: A must-win
  • radnom

    Eh, I would hate him to be on the Sox considering he kills us…but he is a far FAR distant 3rd place option. Even if hes third. He just isn’t that good and someone is going to overpay for him.

    • radnom

      I’d actually rather have Oliver Perez than Burnett, especially if Perez is going to be cheaper.

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

        Boo that idea. Perez is like a box of chocolates.

        • A.D.

          so is AJ Burnett, at least Perez is a left handed box of chocolates

          • Ivan

            Is either of them great choices. I can see Perez get his shit rocked in the AL.

            • radnom

              Nah they arn’t, that was my point really. Oh and apparently Boras represents Perez so so much for him being a cheaper option.

  • Cam

    burnett = pavano part deux

    • Patrick T

      Couldn’t agree more. He’s the definition of flatters to deceive.

  • Chris A

    Why is it these marquee pitchers suck for the yankees? unit, pavano, etc and the same kind of pitchers flourish wit the sox? Beckett, schillin

    What gives

    • radnom

      Becketts been with the Sox three years now and has sucked for two of them. He had an ERA over 5 his first year with them.

    • A.D.

      Well Pavano was coming off by far a career year when the Yanks signed him, he has only pitched 200 innings in a season twice, and only had an era under 4 in a season twice (one was only 15 starts) so he wasn’t a shoe in

      Randy was 41 when he came over and honestly his first year in the Bronx was about as good as one could hope.

      Beckett was about to hit his prime, and has had 1 good season for the sox. Schilling was younger (and less fragile) than Randy when he came over, and kept it going.

      Basically, the Sox picks were more sure things

      • radnom

        Not to mention the Sox had to trade Hanely Ramirez in order to nab Beckett. Thats more than the Yankees gave up for either of those pitchers.

        • A.D.

          Without a doubt, Casey Fossum was considered a solid prospect at the time of the Schilling deal, Annibel Sanchez threw a no hitter for the marlins before TJS, so without a doubt the Sox paid more

          • Zack

            Cassey Fossum was NEVER considered a solid prospect by anyone but the D-Backs. That deal was just plain ridiculous…

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

          Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez. Not too shabby at all.

    • steve (different one)

      i’m more interested in what happened to Vazquez and Weaver, vs. Johnson and Pavano, b/c those guys were young, workhorses, and coming off several years of very good pitching.

      Pavano simply couldn’t stay healthy, the Sox had the exact same story with Matt Clement.

      Johnson was simply old and was brough to NY knowing that he had a bad back and no cartlilege in his knee. no surprise there.

      the Yankees got a very good year from Jon Leiber. the Sox tried the same thing with Wade Miller and it didn’t work.

      it’s not as black and white as it seems.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        The Yanks sold too soon on Vazquez while Weaver was a bust and hasn’t really been good since he was on Detroit. Busts happen, but I believe they gave up on Javy way too soon because someone — other than Torre — had to take the fall for 2004 ALCS collapse.

        • cult of basebaal

          still, vazquez going from 1st half all star to being reduced to coming out of the pen is one of the big mysteries of that year … thanks, mel

  • A.D.

    AJ Burnett may put it all together at his next stop, but I feel like that not with us. If he opts out St Louis might be a good place for him. With Mulder and Carpenter iffy for the rest of their career. The Cards were rumored to want Burnett last time he became a free agent

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  • http://nyyu.blogspot.com Mike @ NYYU

    What about Lackey?

    • A.D.

      Pretty sure the angles will pick up that 9M option for their ace

    • steve (different one)

      if he were a FA, he’d be right at the top of the list.

      but he isn’t and i’d be surprised if he ever becomes one.

    • Yankee1010

      I’m pretty sure that the Angels have a relatively cheap option for next year, so he will not be going anywhere.

  • A.D.

    Another option would be Jon Garland, why Burnett certainly has more upside, Garland is a solid innings eater that should give your team to chance every time out, and keep himself off the DL

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Garland might be an ok 4th-5th starter type, but I don’t think he and Burnett are really comparable. Garland strikes NOBODY out. He has been quite durable, and I’m not saying he’s the worst pitcher out there, but if you sign Burnett you’re signing him and hoping he’s a 2-3 type. Garland’s just not on that level. I think if you could get Garland on a reasonable contract to be your 4 or 5, you could consider that, but I don’t think the Yankees are really looking for 4/5-type guys. If the Yanks dip into the FA pitching market I think they’re looking for front-end guys, with the Pettittes and Mooses of the world filling the 3-5 slots (ideally).

      • steve (different one)

        the congressman makes a solid argument.

  • Geno

    Ugh. I know this season’s been a tough one, but do we honestly think pitching is our problem? I just don’t see it. Sure, not every young pitcher we bring up is going to work out, but some of them WILL. Cashman’s loaded the system with talented young arms, and a few are bound to achieve their potential. I’d be all for signing CC, but that’s it (unless Perez can be had).

    The issue is our offense/defense is a little old and a little slow. I know it wouldn’t be the easiest thing in the world, but I’d like to see Cashman move a talented young arm or 2 for a talented young center fielder, someone like Colby Rasmus. Couple a move like that with signing someone like Juan Rivera, and we’d be on our way…

    • gxpanos

      “…but do we honestly think pitching is our problem?”

      One of them. And CC-Wang-Joba-Moose/Pettitte-Hughes would alleviate a lot of the other problems.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Much easier said than done. I think if the Yankees attempted to engage the Cards in a conversation centered on Rasmus, the Cards would want to start talking about Hughes at the very least, if not Joba. I don’t even think Hughes would get that deal done at this point, anyone have any more informed insight?

      • 27 this year

        I don’t got more insight but Colby Rasmus is definitely one of teh best prospects in baseball. Wieters and Price might be better but Rasmus is up there. I doubt Hughes would get it done because the Cards would only trade him for a surefire superstar like Joba. They would not trade Colby for CC when they could have. Also, I believe Colby is one of their only good prospect that are near MLB ready but it would take too much for teh Yanks to get him something like pay all of arod’s contract and trade arod.d

  • Ivan

    CC is obviously the #1 pitching choice (and overall as well) for the Yanks. Again I would love the yanks to get him and what he’s capable of doing and what not.

    That said, Ben Sheets isn’t a bad backup plan either. Yes there are questions about him being healthy (left his last start early with a groin problem) but he is relativily young (only 30), has great stuff and his stuff translate well in the AL specifically the AL East, while he currently never been in the postseason he does have some big game experience (He and Oswalt really carry that 00 Team to gold) and he’s cheaper than CC and potentially just as effective.

    I still want CC as my #1 choice but I wouldn’t mind Sheets. 4YR-60Million Deal sound reasonable.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    I want CC but giving up draft picks will suck.If the Yankees play bad hopefully our dradt picks can be protected because the Yankees are gonna get two at least type- A free agents.

    • steve (different one)

      they already have a protected first round pick from Cole. same goes for the second round and Bittle.

      Abreu and Pudge could net them 3 more picks. Moose could net them 2 more.

      this is the year to do damage on the FA market and still have a great draft situation.

    • Manimal

      Trust me, we have more picks coming our way next year.

    • Yankee1010

      Sure, keeping the draft pick would be better, but if giving up a big contract and 1 first-round pick is the price to sign a young, durable, LH ace in his prime, it’s a no-brainer.

    • 27 this year

      Guys, don’t be so quick to judge the picks from our Type A’s and B’s, most of them have a good chance to accept arb. Honestly, Pudge, Abreu, Pettite, and others would all probably accept arb.

      • Reggie C.

        Two things…

        I think Abreu played his way to a multi-year offer. He just wont get it from the Yanks. Abreu’s the best bet of the lot to turn down arbitration and depart.

        I-rod knows the situation. Posada will be healthier next season and Molina has played himself in a secure backup spot. I-rod simply wont get playing time. The Yanks will probably offer arb , and he’ll turn it down since he knows he can sign with a bunch of other ballclubs.

  • Manimal

    Sabathia+Sheets IMO, would be better than CC and Burnett. plus brew crew can’t afford either of them.

    • Reggie C.

      Sheets or Burnett. Pick your poison. Giving either guy a contract beyond 4 years would be a mistake. For all off CC’s heft , he’s physically a better bet than either guy and that’s why he’ll get a 6 yr offer.

  • Manimal

    My dream rotation

    CC, Wang, Sheets, Joba, Moose.

    Just to split up the lefties, Joba is not in any way a 4th starter.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Split up the lefties? There’s only one lefty in that rotation…

      • yankeemonkey

        It’s not fair for the competition that Joba is so good, so he will switch it up and start throwing lefty.

      • steve (different one)


    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      A four day split?

  • http://yankees.com D.B.

    hey mike,

    why dont the yankees start chamberlain in 09 as a starter and make him a reliever? i think this would put less stress on him arm during the transformation process.

  • MD

    if we want to stop having pitchers go downhill after they sign with us, we need to stop signing those coming off career years……they have only one way to go, and that is down……since everyone got off the juice, we cant expect a pitcher who’s been logging big innings to be able to do so year after year for us…..it might work in the NL, but not in the AL east….we need to either grow them or have the minor league talent (like Hanley Ramirez) to trade for them…..everyone wants CC, but his workload this year is scary…..someone will pay for what he’s done, but not necessarily get the same performance…..

  • Rick in Boston

    I’d love for the Yankees to get CC, but the big issue is his workload this year and last. It catches up with people. We saw it with Javy Vasquez and why he struggled in the second half of ’04. Sheets doesn’t do anything for me – too much of an injury history. This has been, what, the first year he’s made most of his starts in how long? Burnett’s an enigma, and I wonder if spending 60 million over four years is worth it trying to find out if he’ll put it together here.

    I’m happy with the following rotation:

    Let Moose walk – take the picks. Pettitte will be back – lefties are a great thing to have, provided they stay effective. He’s admitted that if he thinks he’s done, he’s walking. Hughes should be effective as the #5, where we’re not expecting him to do too much. Let Kennedy start as either the long man or making regular starts as the #1 in SWB.

  • Steve

    I don’t want Burnett. I don’t buy this “loves to pitch on the big stage” garbage. I think he sees $$ when he pitches against the Yanks, knowing he can be a FA at the end of this year. He’s pitched like crap against everyone else, and there have always been questions about his desire to pitch through (seemingly insignificant) injuries. Once he cashes in and signs a big contract, the motivation to pitch well dissolves. I think he’s a bust waiting to happen.

    Lets accept the “loves the big stage” stuff for the sake of argument. What does it say about his motivation and professionalism that he only pitches well in big spots? If we sign a guy who pitches great against us, he will of course no longer be facing us. When you look at what he’s done against the rest of the league (ERA around 5) its easy to assume THATS the pitcher we will be seeing every 5th day.

    When we had El Duque pulling this shit, he was our 6th starter. You could live with it, and nobody was better in a big spot. With Burnett, he would possibly be at the top of our rotation. This has “bust” written all over it.

  • ortforshort

    The only sure thing in the group is Sabathia. I’m of the mind that when a young stud comes on the market, you don’t want to let him get away, regardless of cost. I’d also try to sign one of the others to add some depth to the rotation, Sheets, Burnett or Perez, even if you overpay. The only sure thing you’ve got coming back for the next year or two is Wang. You can’t rely on Mussina or Pettitte at their advanced ages and you can’t count on Chamberlain (better off in the pen), Hughes (bring him up when he starts hitting 95 again) or Kennedy (won’t throw strikes to major leaguers).

  • Rory

    I am completely on board with Cashman’s plan to build from within. however, they are still the Yankees, and if they are not going to go after guys like Sabathia and Teixeira, then they should just put their checkbook away. the reason that you build from within, is so that you can avoid guys like Carl Pavano, and randy Johnson, not so you avoid the true stars. You save you money so that you don’t feel financially strapped when the greats come along. sabathia is 28 years old, with a great histiory of durability, and a career line that has been building and improving for years. i would definitely like to see the Yankees go after Sabathia full bore. he should be the number one priority this offseason. My other move for the rotation, would be to offer arbitration to Mussina. This would keep him at a one year at a time basis if he accepts, or you would get two draft picks if he signs elsewhere. If he doesn’t come back next season, then look at options like Pettitte, Perez, Burnette, or if you really want a big splash, go after Sheets too. My first option would be to try to get Mussina on a one year deal, though. Keeps the risk low, while holding a spot for the Yankees young pitchers to figure things out. My rotation for 2009 would be:
    to start the season.
    to finish
    this could be a sustainable rotation for years, with only Mussina needing replaced.

  • pounder

    Every FA pitcher comes with question marks or flaws.The truly valuable arms get locked up by their current teams for a couple of years,usually their prime years.CC has a weight/body issue,Sheets,Burnett have injury issues.The best of the rest all have question marks about them.It is more prudent for teams to home grow their pitchers,then fill in the blanks with the O Perez’s or the Lowe’s, Lohse’s etc.I think the Yanks should not tie up spots in the rotation for long contracts,go with what ever young farm hands intrigue them at the moment. Perez or Lowe are viable short term options if they feel they have some kids ready to contribute.

  • cream

    The Yanks number one off-seaon priority should be to lock up CC. If they are succesful, then they really don’t need to look outside the organization to fill out the rotation. A healthy CM Wang makes for an above average no. 2, Pettitte has had a solid seaon and wants to pitch in the new stadium – he would make a viable no.3, I would bring back moose as the no.4 especially if he would accept a one year deal, and the rotation would be rounded out by Joba who stuff wise is a number two at least, but could benefit from being a no.5 and ocassionally being skipped over in the rotation. Hughes would be the “no.6” starter and could be waiting in the wings at SWB or in the pen should injury or ineffectiveness hit the rotation. ON COLBY RASMUS – would the cards consider cano and kennedy?