Olney: Pettitte, Mussina good fits for a Pinstriped return

Yanks have options to fill coaching spots
Roger Clemens is not a lot of things

Tim links to an article by Buster Olney in which he discusses the fates of Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina. According to a “close friend” of Pettitte, the lefty wishes to return for ’09. Further, he says there’s a “growing sense” that Mussina will be up for the task as well. While these aren’t wholly substantive rumors, it gives us something positive for the afternoon. After all, you can’t have too many options in the rotation.

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Yanks have options to fill coaching spots
Roger Clemens is not a lot of things
  • Illustrious

    1) CC (or Burnett, if CC opts for NL/West Coast)
    2) Pettitte on a 1-year deal, around $10m
    3) Moose on preferably on 1 year + option, but 2 years + option if demanded (maybe something like $12m/year?)

    Get it done, Cash.

    • Emac2

      Just say no to both of them!

      If you can’t offer arbitration but no multiyear deal.

  • A.D.

    Why’d I’d like to see those guys back in pinstripes, wouldn’t be too mad to see Moose sign in LA or something and we can get the benefits of the Type A status

    • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

      I don’t know how you let Moose go somewhere else after the year he had, especially if he’s going to be on a short-term deal. Thats much more preferable in my eyes than going to Derek Lowe or AJ Burnett who are going to want 3+ years.

      • http://barackobama.com TurnTwo

        i have no problem letting him go because the chances, in my opinion, of him replicating his 2008 season again in 2009 are remote.

        just like people arent buying into DLowe, I’m not buying into Moose again.

        be thankful what you got from him this year, and just move on.

        if he comes back for 1 year, it could be worse. i wouldnt be opposed. but i certainly wouldnt expect another great season.

        • Illustrious

          But… what evidence do you have for Moose not being able to continue his success, other than “you’re not being into Moose again”? True, it’s unlikely he’ll have a 3.3 ERA, 20 win season in 2009, but there’s no logical reason that he’d suddenly revert to an awful pitcher. All of his peripheral stats back up his good year, including his FIP.

          • Illustrious

            (sorry, meant “buying into Moose again”)

    • UWS

      He already said he’s not going to the West Coast, so that point, while understandable, is rather moot.

      • radnom

        ? He didn’t mean specifically LA, he meant a team not in our division. Replace LA with Philly.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Actually, I’m pretty sure Moose has said that he needs to be relatively close to his home in PA. So yeah, the West Coast would then be out of the discussion. I haven’t heard anything about Moose saying he wouldn’t pitch outside the AL East, can anyone confirm?

          • radnom

            I didn’t mean to imply that he did say that. When the original poster said he hoped that he would sign somewhere like LA, i interpreted that as meaning “just somewhere where he wouldn’t pitch against us often”. As in not Toronto or Boston.

            • A.D.

              that was true, exactly my thoughts, I’d be fine if he went back to Baltimore, chances are they do nothing anyways

          • Illustrious

            Moose has stated that the team would need to be close to his home. He’s also expressed a desire not to go to the NL, although I don’t believe he’s ever definitively ruled it out. He’s also implied it would have to be for a competitive team. If he’s strictly adhering to his guidelines (close to home, not NL, competitive)… that really only leaves the Yankees and possibly Cleveland, although I’d have to imagine the Yankees would be the huge favorite there.

            For what it’s worth, Moose’s brother was on a sports talk show and said that he thinks it’s “going to be with the Yankees or nobody,” and also said that he thinks it’ll be too hard for Moose to walk away from the game. I have to assume that’s not just speculation on his brother’s part and they’ve actually discussed these matters.

    • Illustrious

      I really wish people would stop talking about the baseball draft as if it were the NBA draft. “Type A” has become such a buzzphrase.

      The guy just had an amazing season and has seemingly figured out how to pitch with his current stuff. If he’s willing to take a short-term, relatively low-cost deal, you absolutely do not let him walk away for draft picks. I would so much rather have him back than someone like Lowe on a 3-year deal (or AJ and his injury history on an even longer deal), especially considering the way he pitched during his last stint in the AL East.

      • Chris C.

        I really wish people would stop talking about the baseball draft as if it were the NBA draft. “Type A” has become such a buzzphrase.

        That’s because the Yankees can’t draft.
        Go ask TB or Boston or Philly how well top round picks have worked out for them.
        TB alone has 3 key guys from their starting lineup, and 4 guys on their staff who were picked in the top 2 rounds.

        You think it’s an accident that as poorly as the YAnkees have drafted over the years, their best young players are STILL high round picks (Hughes, Kennedy, Chaimberlain, Brackman, McAllister, Betances, Gardner, Cox, Horne).

        And where do you suppose AROD, Jeter, Damon, Giambi, Nady, and Mussina were drafted? Or how about Sabathia, Peavy, or Lincecum?

        Dissing the draft is silly. Aside from players signed from other countries, the best players in the league are mostly top picks.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Just for the sake of accuracy: Betances (Round 8), Horne (Round 11).

          • Chris C.

            Just for the sake of accuracy: Betances (Round 8), Horne (Round 11).

            Horne was actually a 1st round pick for Cleveland, but went to Florida instead. So he’s DEFINATELY 1st round talent.

            An injury dropped him in the draft the following year.

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              I’m aware, but you called them “high round picks.” I can only respond to the words on the screen. Clearly talent is not selected in a linear manner in the MLB draft.

              • Chris C.

                Now you’re just nitpicking.

                The point is, the draft DOES mean something to those capable of scouting well. And Horne was INDEED a 1st round pick. The fact that he went to college, then emerged later as an 11th rounder due to injury concerns doesn’t change that he was a 1st round pick.

        • http://www.ilikemygirls.com Seven Costanza

          TB is a f-ing terrible example because they consistently had the top 3 picks in the entire draft for the last decade.

          • Bo

            TB picked Upton, Longoria, Young, and Price in the top 3.

            Gee, wonder why they got better??

            • Chris C.

              “They got better because they didn’t trade them away for players entering their twilight years, that’s why.”

              They got better because they got a guy like Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, got Garza and Barnett for the erratically behaved Delmon Young, stuck with Crawford even when other teams were trying to rip TB off for him, and threw guys like Shields and Sonanstine right into the fire, while showing tremendous patience.

            • Chris C.

              Price? Has he factored in yet?
              And Delmon Young? He hasn’t been around since they were cellar-ridden.

              So Longoria and Upton are the reason they’re going to the WS this year? The Yankees had a 209 mill payroll, but these two guys lifted the Rays from last place to one game away from the WS? Amazing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=15305165&ref=profile Doug

            This.

            I don’t think Chris C should be quite so receptive to a team building plan that involves, you know, being the worst team in the league for 10 years straight.

            • Chris C.

              I don’t think Chris C should be quite so receptive to a team building plan that involves, you know, being the worst team in the league for 10 years straight.

              Tampa Bay has been under a different operation over the past 3 years. Before that, they were the worst run team in the sport.
              It wasn’t exactly a 10 year plan to get them to this point.
              It was more like a 7 year road to nowhere, followed by sound organizational structure.

          • Chris C.

            That’s not the point. The point is, the draft is not a crapshoot for those who know how to scout. It’s no accident that the best players in the game not from other countries are all high round picks.

            Sure, a few fall through the cracks and elevate their game as later round picks, but you’ll find that in any sport.

            • whozat

              Past the top 15 or 20, though, things get a lot murkier a lot more quickly. When you’re picking at 25+ every single year, the guys available are either low-risk/low-reward (Kennedy-style), or high-risk/high-reward (Cole-style).

              Also, it’s not so much that guys “slip through the cracks” of scouting to the later rounds…they’re just risky. A guy like Jackson slips because he’s committed to play basketball in college and is a very raw baseball talent. This is the route that the Yanks must take…take signability cases where possible, gamble on injury risks like Brackman and Joba or raw HS athletes like Austin Jackson. The TB path is not available to them, because they don’t get to draft healthy, consensus-top-10-style talents. Ever.

              So…even if you “know how to scout”, the draft is still pretty much a crapshoot after the top 15 or 20 guys.

              • Chris C.

                This is the route that the Yanks must take…take signability cases where possible, gamble on injury risks like Brackman and Joba or raw HS athletes like Austin Jackson. The TB path is not available to them, because they don’t get to draft healthy, consensus-top-10-style talents. Ever.

                Oh please! That’s ONE PICK that TB gets in each draft that the Yankees don’t. And it’s not like the 10th-30th picks in the draft are terrible. The Red Sox seem to fluorish when picking in this range. The Yankees end up with guys like CJ Henry, John Ford Griffen, David Parrish, Dave Walling, and Eric Duncan.

                The last time the Yankees got the top pick in the draft, they didn’t do so hot. They took a High School kid with a 10 cent brain.

                And don’t you think that maybe the Yankees may have a SLIGHT advantage financially when it comes to international players? You think the Rays are getting the Matsuis, El Duque’s, and Matsuzaka’s of the world?
                There’s the top picks in the draft for the YAnkees and Red Sox.

                “So…even if you “know how to scout”, the draft is still pretty much a crapshoot after the top 15 or 20 guys”

                Yet some organizations consistently do better than others. So what you’re saying is, they’ve learned how to flip a better coin?

          • Chris C.

            TB is a f-ing terrible example because they consistently had the top 3 picks in the entire draft for the last decade.

            And that accounts for 3 of the 25 players on their current roster. And one of those guys didn’t even play for them yet this year.
            So how about the rest of their line-up, starting staff, and bullpen?
            Just about all were drafted by the team, with the exception of a few.

            And guess what? Even with all their TOP 3 draft picks currently on the major league squad, guess who has the #1 ranked minor league system, according to BaseballAmerica?
            That’s right, Tampa Bay. So there goes the “top pick” excuse.

        • Illustrious

          It’s not that I’m dissing the draft on principle. However, I do find it silly when people suggest that it’s not a big deal if we let Moose walk (again, provided he would agree to a short-term, relatively inexpensive deal) because of super special Type A draft picks. In this case, you take the known entity.

          • A.D.

            I didn’t say they should let him walk, just, given that he’s type a it wouldn’t be the worst if he did.

            Mussia could revert back to 2007 form, and he won’t be that cheap, he made 11M this season, he will look for more, ie 12-15

          • Chris C.

            It’s not that I’m dissing the draft on principle. However, I do find it silly when people suggest that it’s not a big deal if we let Moose walk (again, provided he would agree to a short-term, relatively inexpensive deal) because of super special Type A draft picks. In this case, you take the known entity.

            According to Buster Olney, this has been the EXACT reason why the Yankee minor league system has floundered from 1998-2006. They’ve forfeited WAY too many top picks by either signing “known entities” that flopped or were mediocre, or retaining sub-par guys untiltheir status dropped off the table.

            Think about this for a minute………Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright alone cost the Yankee two first round picks and a second rounder.
            Holy shit!

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    “After all, you can’t have too many options in the rotation.”

    Chris C. strongly disagrees with you. Tread carefully.

    • Chris C.

      It’s like beating a dead horse.
      The Yankees have gotten progressively worse over the past few years, yet people keep advocating the same crap.
      Like the Knicks, they refuse to do what’s right for the organization for the long run, and instead prefer patchwork.

      • whozat

        Yes, signing pitchers to one-year deals to fill out the back-end of the rotation while your stud young pitchers earn their way into the majors at the ripe old age of 23 is really not thinking long-term.

        With Joba’s innings limit and the obvious fragility of pitchers, there will be opportunity for Hughes/Kennedy/Horne/Wright/Coke/Aceves to push their way into the bigs. Avoiding long-term commitments to old and/or injury-prone pitchers like Lowe or Burnett is EXACTLY what the organization should be doing to promote long-term health.

        • whozat

          Long-term organizational health, that is.

        • Chris C.

          “With Joba’s innings limit and the obvious fragility of pitchers, there will be opportunity for Hughes/Kennedy/Horne/Wright/Coke/Aceves to push their way into the bigs.”

          Outside of injuries, there are little opportunities for these guys to push themselves into the rotation if you filll it up with guys making over 10 mill a year. Especially in Spring Training, where there is really no competition for rotation spots, as the FA signees have all but been guarenteed those spots regardless of how they perform.

          If they sign Lowe or Pettitte to a contract, regardless of how they look in preseason, do you think those guys will lose out on a rotation spot to Hughes or Aceves? Fat chance.

          • whozat

            Like I said…given that Joba will have an innings cap and had shoulder issues this year, that Wang is coming back from a devastating foot injury, that Moose will be 40 and Andy pitched through elbow discomfort for a couple months, and CC (if signed) is coming off two seasons of HUGE workload…

            Seems like there’ll be some opportunity, no? When was the last Yankee season in which there was NOT a significant opportunity for a starting pitcher to step in?

            • Illustrious

              Just a sidenote: Pettitte experienced shoulder pain, not elbow pain this year.

          • AndrewYF

            Huh. I seem to vaguely remember 2007, where Mussina, making $12 million, lost his rotation spot in September to Ian Kennedy, who was in single-A Tampa the beginning of the year.

            Gosh, that just must not have happened. I mean, you can’t be completely, utterly, embarrassingly wrong, can you?

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              That fact was brought up in another thread today, he doesn’t seem to remember that (nor acknowledge it when reminded).

              • Chris C.

                I remember it, chief. And it only proves my point that it’s almost impossible to knock a guy out of the rotation when he makes so much damn money.
                Mussina should have been benched in July. And the only thing that got his sorry-azz benched in September was that he was in the process of costing the Yankees a playoff spot!

            • Chris

              But Mussina had to absolutely suck for 5 months before he was pushed out. The advantage of having young pitchers is that ifthey struggle for a couple weeks, then you can send them down and replace them. You don’t have that luxury with FA pitchers.

            • Chris C.

              Huh. I seem to vaguely remember 2007, where Mussina, making $12 million, lost his rotation spot in September to Ian Kennedy, who was in single-A Tampa the beginning of the year.

              The fact that it took until Sept for Mussina to lose his spot was amazing.

              • AndrewYF

                It’s because the Yankees had to expose their depth-9 starter, and they all got crushed. Mussina was their best choice up until then.

                You do have a selective memory, I knew it.

                • Chris C.

                  Who all got crushed? What the heck are you talking about?

                  Mussina was nobody’s best choice until then. He was a friggen pinata! He was still pitching because of the loser logic, “ya can’t put a 12 million dollar man on the bench”!

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Btw, I was just poking fun at you with that comment. I know things can get a bit heated when people get into discussions here and I didn’t mean for that comment to be antagonistic. Just messing around. (And I’m not writing this comment because I think you reacted angrily, just putting it out there so I’m not misunderstood.)

      • Bo

        They’ve gotten worse because the SP has gotten worse. Not because they refuse to go with youth or in house. If they made better picks in the FA game and in trades they wouldn’t be in this mess.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        You still haven’t said what kind of move you’d prefer to shore up the rotation. Punting is not an option. Sorry. I know you’d rather do it, but the organization simply will not.

  • radnom

    Good. Hopefully this means no Lowe.

  • AndrewYF

    I still want the Yankees to go after both CC and Sheets. Cashman better not use Mussina and Pettitte coming back as some sort of excuse to avoid the free agent market.

    • radnom

      I would prefer Sheets over Burnett or Lowe, but only if you get him in addition to CC.

    • Steve S.

      Sheets? he just better not use the two of them as an excuse to put Joba in the bullpen.

      • AndrewYF

        That, too. But I’m pretty sure he’s fully on board with the Joba-as-a-starter thing.

    • Chris C.

      “I still want the Yankees to go after both CC and Sheets.”

      Geez, you’re lost!
      Sheets may not even pitch until July! And who the heck knows what you’ll get from him after that?

      • AndrewYF

        You’re right! Sidney Ponson all the way, baby! Punt the season!

        You’re not just a disgrace, but a nightmare.

      • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

        Dude, stop throwing around inaccuracies like that. Where the hell did you hear Ben Sheets might not pitch until July?

  • Manimal

    CC- Lefty ace
    Wang- right handed sinker baller, lots of innings
    Joba- Rookie, limited innings
    Lowe-A lot of innings, reliable
    Moose- few innings but effective

    You need to split up moose and Joba for bullpen innings purposes.

    • whozat

      You’re looking at Lowe’s last contract and assuming the same level of production for the next 3-4 years. From a 36 year old pitcher moving from the NL West to the AL East.

      Does that not seem kind of ill-considered?

    • JD

      God, I hope we DO NOT sign Lowe. His ERA is way too high for the AL!

    • radnom

      Replace Lowe with either Sheets(on a 1-2 year deal) or internal options, and I’m on board.

      • radnom

        Internal options being Pettite/Hughes/Aceves/IPK

      • whozat

        If Sheets will take a deal that short, it’s definitely something you have to look at.

        • radnom

          It might be in his best interest to build up his value and go for the lucrative long term deal in a year or two while he is still somewhat young, as opposed to settling right now.

    • AndrewYF

      I can’t believe people want Lowe for four years, $16 million per year instead of Pettitte for one year at, say, $12 million.

      • radnom

        Seriously. I don’t know how this became the common mindset all of a sudden.

      • JD

        If pettitte would be coming back, I’d say it will have to be much lower than $12 million.

        • whozat

          Why? Carlos Silva gets 12 mil a year. Andy had an off year, yes, but there is nontrivial evidence that a lot of that was due to poor defense and/or poor luck. You also pay a premium to not have to commit for more than a year. So…12 mil (a paycut of 4 mil) seems in the right ballpark.

  • JD

    I’m pretty sure you just compared a pitcher who is yet to be 30 to a pitcher that is 36 and keeps wondering about retirement. I’m not saying I don’t want Pettitte back but I don’t think it should be more than $10 mil.

    • K.B.D.

      They just paid him 16 million last year, you can’t cut his salary that much without seriously disrespecting the guy (one who helped you win 4 WS). In addition, you’re not getting a left-handed proven innings eater on a one year deal for less than 10 million. Show me how many of those exist in the MLB right now.

    • Chris C.

      Then I’ll say it……I don’t want Pettitte back.

      Andy seems to be a real swell guy, but this is not that difficult a decision.

      • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

        I’m not saying I want Andy back. But if you are going to bring him back, its absurd to think he’s going to come back at less than 10 million.

        And Chris C., I’m curious what you ideally want the rotation to look like next year?

        • Nady Nation

          Hughes
          Kennedy
          Aceves
          Horne
          Coke

          Wang waiting in the wings, if he could prove he’s healthy

          • TheLastClown

            This is a Joke right?

            • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Yes.

        • Chris C.

          Ideally?

          Sabathia or Peavy
          Wang
          Chamberlain
          Mussina (If he’ll take a 1 yr deal w/club option for year 2)
          Hughes/Kennedy/Aceves/Coke/Sanchez/Horne/Wright/Pettitte.

          Forget Burnett/Lowe/Sheets, or any other pitcher looking for way more than they’re worth just to be handed a roster spot.
          The shouldn’t operate like this anymore.

          If Pettitte wants to come back and COMPETE for a roster spot, he’s more than welcome. But he should not be handed one, and that’s EXACTLY what will happen if they bring him back.

          • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

            Peavy is probably going to end up costing you Hughes from those “slash” people. Coke needs to prove himself as a starter above AA (where he was generally older than the competition). Horne was injured all last year and hasn’t proved himself above AA either. Sanchez might not even be starting, but who knows.

            This doesn’t even include the possibility of using a 6th starter to control Joba’s innings if they deem it so. In that case, Pettite might be your best option, as Moose isn’t a innings eater.

            I understand what you’re saying about Pettite, but you generally know what you’re getting from him (as opposed to Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves). Yes, Hughes’ upside is greater, but so is the downside, which we saw this year. Pettite seems to me to be the best option in your list, in my humble opinion.

            • Chris C.

              “I understand what you’re saying about Pettite, but you generally know what you’re getting from him (as opposed to Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves).”

              Yeah, you’re getting mediocrity. Big deal. Put one or two of the kids in the rotation and let them take their lumps, because they’re not gonna get anywhere hurling for Scranton all year.
              That’s how you get better. That’s how guys like Shields and Kazmir and Lester and Sonanstine and Billingsly and Hammils and Myers all improved and solidified spots in their rotations.
              They didn’t just come up and blow everyone away.

              I mean, look at the teams that are currently in the playoffs right now. Why do the Yankees and their fans believe the system of filling in holes and showing little to no patience is somehow a winner?

              The Red Sox get knocked all the time by Yankee fans for stealing the building blueprint that Gene Michael developed in the 90’s for the Yankees.
              Heck, they may as well use it. The Yankees certainly haven’t over the past few years.

    • whozat

      Were you responding to me? If so…when reckoning what AAV a guy can expect, age is only part of the issue; track record tends to factor in a lot too. Think about it.

      Cash says: 1/10
      Andy’s agent says: 10 mil? Carlos Silva gets 12 per.
      Cash says: Silva’s younger.
      Andy’s agent. So? We’re only talking about one year. Andy’s better, and you paid 16 mil last year. One year of being victimized by bad luck and poor defense, and you want to cut my guy’s salary by more than a third?

      You see my point?

      • Bo

        That is why it is stupid to throw out years and money when talking about free agents.

        What average pitcher would take less than 11 now that Silva and Meche got it?

        What good pitcher would take less than Zito?

        It’s great to say “lock them up on cheap 1 yr deals” but that’s not reality

      • AndrewYF

        In 2007, Silva was a superior pitcher than Pettitte in 2008. He was also entering his age-28 year. Seattle is also one of the worst-run organizations in sports.

        If Silva entered the free agent market today, he wouldn’t get crap.

        • whozat

          His contract is still part of setting the bar. If 2007 Carlos silva entered the market today, he’d get the 12 mil per easy. Lots of GMs still don’t use peripherals very well.

          Three years of 200+ innings at above average production plus one year of 200IP at near-average production is going to get you 1/12 no problem. Especially if you were getting 16 last year. And, given that the Yanks SHOULD be paying a bit of a premium in order to avoid long-term deals…

          • JD

            He still isn’t worth more than 10mil!

  • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

    1. CC
    2. Wang
    3. Moose
    4. Pettite
    5. JOBA
    Hughes/Aceves/Horne/Wright/IPK
    one of them “should” be kept in the bigs as the longman/skip-a-turn-starter.

    Mo
    Bruney
    Marte
    Coke
    Veras
    Roberson/Melancon

    • http://pondering-pinstripes.blogspot.com/ K.B.D.

      Horne was injured all last year after his first stint in AAA, now he’s vying for a longman or a spot starter position? Come on.

      • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

        So leave him out of the competition, my point still stands.

        A 6 man rotation isn’t that hard to figure out/work. You should get about 1000 innings from your rotation, 5 or 6 man. 200 each from CC and Wang, leaves 600. 150 each for Moose, Pettite, JOBA, Hughes:

        CC, Wang, Moose, Pettite, JOBA
        CC, Wang, Hughes, Pettite, JOBA
        CC, Wang, Moose, Hughes, JOBA
        CC, Wang, Moose, Pettite, Hughes
        repeat
        CC, Wang, Moose, Pettite, JOBA

        Seems simple enough to me. Honestly, am I missing something? This would seem to get everyone their innings, plus I’m sure a few starts would need to be skipped/filled-in along the way. That leaves Aceves, IPK, Wright to spot-start. JOBA and Hughes would ideally get to about 110-120 in the regular season so they would be good to go in the playoffs, and still be ready for an innings increase in 2010 to 180-190.

        • http://knickerbockerchatter.blogspot.com Bruno

          The only downside I see is that Hughes (or whoever filled that role) wouldn’t be on a “set” schedule.

          • radnom

            He can make starts in the minors in between.

            Not that I see this happening next year, but this specifically wouldn’t be an issue.

      • radnom

        Not to mention that he wasn’t exactly setting the world on fire when he did pitch.

        • Chris C.

          HE IS TWENTY TWO YEARS OLD!!!!

      • Chris C.

        “Horne was injured all last year after his first stint in AAA, now he’s vying for a longman or a spot starter position? Come on”

        WHAT??? So now he has to wait his turn, or something like that? I don’t care if Horne spent the entire 2008 season on an African Safari being wheeled around in a body cast! If the man shows up for Spring training in February, and proves that he’s one of the best starters in the organization, then he win a spot in the rotation.

        The way the Yankees looked in 2008, it should be open auditions for the last one, maybe two spots in the rotation. And I don’t give a crap who’s invited. Invite EVERYONE. Shut NO ONE out of the competition.

        If Horne is still not healthy, or they want to bring him along slowly or something like that, that’s another story. But I don’t see what’s wrong with a large group of pitchers having a shot at rotation spots, and having to come up big when the spotlight is on them to earn it.

        Enough with the “Pecking order” bullshit.

        • whozat

          There’s no pecking order “bullshit”

          He’s saying that you’re expecting a guy who just came off a full season of injury — who hasn’t shown that he can get AAA hitters out — into the competition for a role on the big league club. That doesn’t make any sense. We don’t even know that he can take the mound consistently yet.

  • Bo

    Lowe is a NL pitcher now. Get Burnett in addition to CC. You get strikeout pitchers who miss bats. And with the Yankees crappy defense that only helps.

    • whozat

      Burnett is not the guy to get. He’s an injury waiting to happen. Do you really want to sign a guy to a 5 year deal that has his kind of injury history? Also…look at what he did against NOT the Yankees. It really wasn’t very stellar. The guy is inconsistent and hurt a lot. Why is that desirable?

      • radnom

        If youre going to get an injury risk to pair with CC I would much rather Sheets.
        I would probably rather neither, but we’ll see what Sheets is asking for.

        • Chris C.

          “If youre going to get an injury risk to pair with CC I would much rather Sheets.
          I would probably rather neither, but we’ll see what Sheets is asking for.”

          These days, Sheets is asking for straws in his drinks, because he can’t even lift them off the table to take sips.

    • Chris C.

      Burnett had a 1.40 WHIP.
      He missed about as many bats as Andy Pettitte.

      • Accent Shallow

        This is completely incorrect, and one reason why WHIP isn’t always the best tool to measure pitchers.

        Per baseball-reference.com:
        AJ Burnett faced 957 batters this year, and struck out 231 of them, or 24.1%. He threw 61% of his pitches for strikes, and of those strikes, 18% of them were swinging, compared to the league average of 15%. He did have an issue with walks, walking 86 batters in 211 innings.

        Andy Pettitte faced 881 batters, and struck out 158, or 17.9%. He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes, and of those, 15% were swinging, which is in line with league average. He walked 55 batters in 204 innings.

        There’s a substantial difference between the two pitchers, in terms of skillset. Pettitte is eminently more hittable than Burnett, but less prone to walks. I’d still rather have Pettitte, simply for the fact that he doesn’t have the injury concerns that Burnett does, and that he’s available on a short term deal, giving the team greater roster flexibility.

        • Accent Shallow

          The point I forgot to add: to assert that they’re similar pitchers (either this past year, or going forward) just because they have similar WHIPs isn’t necessarily correct.

          • Chris C.

            They are in respect to the amount of people they allow to reach base. When one guy walks more guys than the other, than there’s a pretty good chance they’re not challenging hitters as much; hence, they will allow less hits. Whoopee.

            So Burnett is slightly better than Pettitte.
            We need more than that for a long term investment, no?

        • Chris C.

          “Oh, okay…..let me rephrease that……….while Burnett was busy missing bats, he was also busy missing the strike zone.
          And his pitch counts?? Don’t ask.”

          He’s about as economical as the price of gas.

          “I’d still rather have Pettitte, simply for the fact that he doesn’t have the injury concerns that Burnett does”,

          Pettitte has no injury concerns? Every year, the guy is either on the shelf for a spell, or pitching through some sort of discomfort. And he’s certainly not going to get any healthier at 37.

          I don’t wan’t either, so don’t get the impression I’m trying to pimp one over the other. I don’t know why you feel the Yankees have to make a choice between the two.

          • whozat

            Pettitte certainly has fewer injury concerns. He’s thrown 200+ innings the last four straight years. And this was the first time he was below league average in performance. And we have data indicating that this was more due to poor luck and fielding than declining skill.

            The point is this…Free agent pitchers outside of Sabathia should be short-term deals. Pettitte will take a short-term deal. Sheets might, so look into that. Burnett and Lowe won’t. Shore up the D a bit with a 1B and an RF that can field, trust that Hughes/Kennedy/Horne/Coke/Wright or someone else will be ready to step in if someone goes down and sign Pettitte/Sheets.

            It’s the best thing for the organization in that it avoids tying up a roster spot long-term with an aging or injury prone pitcher.

            • Lanny

              Please don’t embarrass yourself and state that 2007 Andy was as good as 2007 AJ.

  • Accent Shallow

    Ideally, you sign Sabathia, and one of Moose/Pettitte, and have the fifth spot be either Hughes, or whoever’s most impressive in the spring.

    Rationally, you may need both Mussina and Pettitte to provide innings, with Hughes getting a shot when someone’s ineffective/hurt. I’m not too crazy about that, though, since Hughes a) needs to learn on the job in the majors, and b) likely has higher upside than either Moose or Pettitte next year.

  • JRVJ

    I’ll say it again – my ideal Yankee rotation is C.C., Wang, Moose, Joba and Pettitte, with Hughes, IPK, Aceves and the rest of the pack bringing up the rear and ensuring that Rassner and Ponson never start for the Yanks again.

    Folks, injuries happen, and not just to one pitcher at a time. That’s why I want Hughes and the rest of the gang available, but not thrown into the fire from the word go.

    As to contract length, if Moose wants 2 years, you give it to him (I can’t fathom Moose with LESS skills than those he showed in 2008 – and if he has another 2007 season – both regarding injuries and inefficiency – , I can’t see him pitching in 2010). If it takes $12 or 13MM per, instead of $11MM per, that’s less than Latroy Hawkins got to suck, and the Yanks are saving on righty relievers this season.

    As for Andy, I’m fine with him coming back, but obviously for less than $16MM (I can’t see Andy getting more than Moose, but I could see then getting the same amount).

  • Lanny

    You realize all these arguments are contingent on CC signing with the Yankees which isn’t set in stone.

  • Luke

    Someone through out the idea that trading for Peavy could happen. I have read some rumors he is available. on the topic of pitching, what do you all think it will take to get Peavy?
    Cano/Hughes/mid-level prospect? more? less? would you do it?

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  • http://rotation godfather

    not a peavy purveyor here, so i woudn’t want to part with that pair, let alone a prospect, for him; lowe is an indicator of what pitching for nyy has become in the view of many — more trouble than it’s worth; a guy i’d like for a low-end rotation spot would be park, of all people, if la doesn’t secure him

  • Beau

    Why not Moose to the Red Sox? I’m sure they wouldn’t mind getting younger. If they dumped the 64 year old Tim Wakefield for the young dapper Mussina they could only get better. =) Besides, even in Mussina’s prime he couldn’t ever beat the Yankees. I wouldn’t mind give our lineup a chance to face him. Just kidding about Wakefield. They are both old timers.

  • Beau

    Just a quick side note about Sabathia. The Yanks will land him if they want. A home on the west coast won’t stop the $$ signs from ultimately being the deciding factor. He will be looking for the best pay out and that seems to favor the Yankees this year with the potential salary relief they should be getting. They are obviously going to push hard for a number one lefty starter, which has seemed to always elude them. Randy certainly wasn’t our answer and Pettite was a gamer, but lacked that ability to dominate lefty batters. I say C.C. in Pinstripes next season!

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