Davidoff: Who needs Pettitte?

Counting our chickens well before they hatch
Must be the money

With A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia now in the Bronx fold, the Yanks’ once-barren starting rotation is now filling up. The team will probably lead with Sabathia and follow with Chien-Ming Wang, A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain and the fifth starter. As problems go, having no fifth starter isn’t a bad one, but the Yanks, according to a few columnists, may not afford themselves the flexibility they could have if they act quickly to fill the fifth spot.

In particular, this problem — if we want to call it a problem — revolves around Andy Pettitte. The long-time Yankee lefty had a sub-par 2008, and the Yanks are willing to bring him back on their terms. Pettitte hasn’t jumped at the one-year, $10-million offer on the table mostly because he doesn’t really want to take a 37.5 percent pay cut. The Yanks have seemingly made a take-out-or-leave-it offer, but even that seems a little too generous. As Ken Davidoff wrote today, the Yanks should let Pettitte go. He writes:

There’s still one path the Yankees can take to prove they’re not solely a “win now” organization — to show they haven’t fully destroyed the culture shift that Brian Cashman worked so hard to instill the previous three seasons. Call Andy Pettitte, and tell him sorry, but his time is up. Keep in touch, keep in shape. Maybe he can do a Roger Clemens-esque return close to the All-Star break — at the $16-million salary he wants, moreover, just prorated.

With A.J. Burnett coming aboard Friday, the Yankees have four high-end starting pitchers in CC Sabathia, Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang and Joba Chamberlain. That’s your October starting rotation right there, and it’s superb.

So don’t give up entirely on the youth movement. Allow Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy a chance to contribute from that fifth starter’s role, rather than overspending on the fading Pettitte. Maybe Phil Coke and even Andrew Brackman can get into the mix.

Of course, with Joba in the rotation and A.J. Burnett’s injury history, the point may be moot. Chamberlain can go only about 150 innings if he stays healthy, and Burnett has made 30+ starts in a season just twice in his career. They’ll have ample opportunities to get Hughes, Kennedy and Aceves into the mix if they deserve to be there. I just wonder about paying too much for Pettitte.

In the end, it’s a matter of nostalgia. Is there a legitimate baseball reason to hire Andy Pettitte beyond the fact that he pitched on four teams that won the World Series a decade ago? The Yanks can spend all they want, but they will also need to develop from within. Sure, they had their David Cone, David Wells and Roger Clemens back in the 1990s, but they also had their Andy Pettitte. If they’re going to restore that tradition to the Bronx, they’ll need to let these kids pitch their ways on to the team.

As Davidoff writes in closing, “It’s understandable why the Yankees went so hard after Sabathia and Burnett. And it would be inexcusable to dismiss their young pitchers without a better opportunity to be part of this new era.”

Counting our chickens well before they hatch
Must be the money
  • K.B.D.

    I think that with the question marks surrounding Joba and Burnett and their innings that you need someone who will give you league-average or better innings and Pettitte has proven he can do that. Yes, he had a down year last season, but his FIP was better than it was the season before where he posted a 110 ERA+. He’ll be good for 200 innings.

    Sure, a combination of Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy could fill those innings, but they proved last year that you’ve got no clue what you’re going to get. At least with Andy we know what we’re getting.

    • Ksturnz

      precisely teh reason why they shouldn’t retain his services. Hughes was injured. Aceves’ peripherals are not as good as his record indicates, but this is teh 5th spot we are talking about. Ian has shown that he is not finished in this business by any means. And don’t discount what Coke or Horne could do, either. Our depth is fine as is.

      If Cashman/steins still want to be buyers, I suggest forgetting about Cameron, Forgetting about Pettitte/Sheets. Boom, 20 million. We have no good first base prospects until BLaird in Tampa. Miranda is more of a DH platoon man to me. See if Mark Teixeira is interested, not at 9 yrs, though

      • K.B.D.

        It’s not just the 5 spot is my point. Because you’re not going to get the innings from Joba and Burnett you expect from their rotation spots you need someone who can give you a reasonable expectation when filling them in (Pettitte).

        Anyways, we already don’t have enough money to get Tex. Salary is at around 188 million after arbitration raises for people. There’s not enough room for Tex in the budget.

      • K.B.D.

        Oh, and we have a guy to man first, his name is Nick Swisher.

        • Ksturnz

          true, i don’t think we should get Tex, either.

          It is not very wise to pay your 5th starter 10-13 million when you have at least 3 guys that should be able to pitch league average for a fraction of what Andy wants. Cash Knows that, that’s why he won’t back down to Andy like was done with Jopo, Mo, etc?

          • K.B.D.

            Because 10-13 million on a one year deal is nothing. Thats why. And I’ve already extrapolated on why its not JUST the 5th spot in the rotation, because he’ll be making up for the innings that Joba and Burnett will inevitably miss.

            Also that situation of Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera differ greatly from Pettitte’s. What leverage did Cash have against Mariano? None. Jorge? None. But he can use the glut of MLB-ready pitching talent as leverage against Andy. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t need or want him. It just means he’s being a shrewd negotiator. It just December. There’s plenty of time for him to sign Andy.

            • Ksturnz

              …at no more than 10 million. agreed.

  • mustang

    ” I just wonder about paying too much for Pettitte.
    In the end, it’s a matter of nostalgia. Is there a legitimate baseball reason to hire Andy Pettitte beyond the fact that he pitched on four teams that won the World Series a decade ago?”

    I hope Andy signs and makes you eat those words the same way Mussina did.
    No disrespect, but I think your selling Andy too short.

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

      Well, sure, we’d all like Pettitte to make me eat these words, but we have to realize that Mussina’s 2008 was not the norm. The vast, vast majority of pitchers past the age of 35 do not win 20 games for the first time. It just doesn’t happen, and we can’t let one unique season by Mussina blind us to the fact that Pettitte slowed down during the second half and isn’t getting younger.

      • mustang

        Lets forget the guy was hurt the second half and all the things he dealt with before the season.
        But your right Mussina’s 2008 is not the norm and maybe Andy is done. But I have seen enough of Andy Pettitte to realize the he just doesn’t bring his ability to the mound, but a lot more. But I forget you guys don’t put too much worth on things like that.

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

          he just doesn’t bring his ability to the mound, but a lot more.

          I think you mean he doesn’t bring just his ability, but either way, do you see why it’s foolish to put any stock into that? He can bring all the determination he wants, but if he’s throwing to an ERA over 5.00 and being crappy, he’s not helping the team no matter how hard he looks like he’s trying. Grit doesn’t win you baseball games; good players win you baseball games.

          • K.B.D.

            David Eckstein cries @ “Grit doesn’t win you baseball games.”

            • mustang

              And Kirk Gibson, Jeter, Scooter and so on. Grit maybe a hard concept for some to understand since there is no Stat. for it.

          • mustang

            Hopefully, we will get a chance to see because I did so enjoy watch Mussina games last year. I watching everyone who criticized him at the beginning of season kiss his ass at the end of it. Then again there was a lot crow eating going on last year.

            • mustang

              And watching…

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

              I don’t get why you’re so hung up on this whole “eating crow” thing. Do you know how many people were criticizing Mussina after 2007? All of them.

              Pitchers who are 40 just don’t get better like that. What Mussina did was remarkable because he reinvented the way he pitched. I just don’t see Pettitte doing that.

              • mustang

                Ben, all I’m saying is that sometimes you just get so hang up on Stat. that you forget the X factors. Last year you did it with Mussina, Hughes, IPK and Nady to name a few. This year it’s Andy and Manny. Forget that one guy is a warrior and the other is a virus on a team all that matters are 5.00 ERA and .330 Avg.
                I understand the importance of numbers in baseball, but there is more to the game then just that. If you really think that all it took for a 40-year-old Mussina to win 20 games was to “reinvented the way he pitched” then you true don’t understand the essence of the game.

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

                  Then enlighten us. Tell us how, absent changing the way he approach hitters, Mike Mussina was able to win 20 games. I’d safe to say that I watched 95 percent of Mike Mussina’s starts, and he was approaching hitters differently. That’s what everyone who saw the games, except for some reason you, will say. And while you’re at it, convince me that Manny Ramirez’s hitting .320 with 35 HR and 130 RBI worse for the team than some over-the-hill 36-year-old with a 5.00 ERA. I’d love to hear this.

                  You’re talking in useless platitudes that mean nothing – NOTHING – on the field and everything in your mind. X factors don’t mean shit. Ask the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox how they felt about Manny and his antics.

                • mustang

                  If I learn anything about argue with you it’s just to let things play out on the field. Most of time that seem to correct you a lot better then anything that I can say.
                  Hopefully Andy will give us the chance to do that.

                  PS- I wasn’t comparing them to each other.

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

                  Typical. You’re not answering the question because (a) you don’t have a legitimate or even a half-hearted answer and (b) there is no answer.

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

                  Also writing this:

                  This year it’s Andy and Manny. Forget that one guy is a warrior and the other is a virus on a team all that matters are 5.00 ERA and .330 Avg.

                  And then saying you’re not comparing them is just wrong. Unless your definition of comparing is somehow different from everyone else’s, what you’re doing is comparing them, plain and simple.

                • mustang

                  It’s a lot better then coming up with ridiculous reason for players failures. See: April 2008 Hughes And IPK for reference.

                  Lets just see how it plays out.

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

                  I’ll be sure to file broken rib under “ridiculous reasons” from here on out. Good call.

                • mustang

                  No. What I was trying to say is that all you see is Manny’s numbers and Andy’s numbers.

                • mustang

                  “I’ll be sure to file broken rib under “ridiculous reasons” from here on out. Good cal”

                  And IPK.
                  I meant before we knew about the ribs it was the weather,umpires and so on. God knows it could be that they just weren’t ready.

                • mustang

                  couldn’t be

                • mustang

                  Because that would mean that Cashamn was wrong about pitching and we all know that never happens.

                • ceciguante

                  mustang, i agree with you 100% on this. but i suspect ben k won’t budge until proven wrong on the matter (see IPK, hughes, etc.), at which time he’ll find a stat he’s not citing now to justify changing his stance. *sigh*

                  ben seems to think that pretty much everything having to do with predicting player performance is encompassed in the stats he’s decided are best. (bill james disagrees with this idea.) the notions of chemistry, attitude, intangibles, etc…..while i know ben has acknowledged them, he routinely dismisses as “foolish” the idea that they carry any weight. he’s closed his mind to this, to the point of mocking (along with his all-stats friends) any notion to the contrary. and he’s wrong.

                  stats are essential and valuable, but you still have to watch, and go by your gut to some extent. ignore things like andy’s vs. manny’s attitude, or andy’s potential lack of preseason conditioning due to the mitchell scandal, and you end up scrambling for more stats after the fact to explain why the first ones didn’t work. (see RAB preseason 2008 predictions re: hughes and IPK. see also ben’s “broken rib” defense of hughes, despite that hughes made about 8 starts before his injury and nobody proved he was injured for any of them. pure apologism, there.)

                  while i agree completely that andy *could* be done, i think he will improve modestly in 2009 or at least replicate his 4.5era (very valuable in the 4/5 hole). we should sign him for one year, there will still probably be 20+ starts to give to hughes and co, and then 50+ starts in 2010 when andy is gone. that’s not abandoning youth, that’s giving them time to get the seasoning they need so they’re not rushed like in 2008.

                • mustang

                  Thank you I agree totally with your comments and thank you for re-forcing my point. You did a much better job of explaining it.

      • Ed

        I think it’s more than a little wrong to ask Pettitte to pitch through an injury for half a season, then ignore that factor when evaluating his performance.

        We shouldn’t expect him to have a Mussina like 2009, but I’d expect 2009 Pettitte to be more like the 2007 than the 2008 one.

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

          No one was asking Pettitte to pitch through an injury. If he was too hurt to pitch, he should have said/done something during the season and not waited until September to drop that on the team.

          • Ed

            How can you say no one asked him? Were you in the dugout? Considering everyone in the press knew Pettitte was hurt at the start of August, I find it extremely hard to believe that the team didn’t know. At the very least, the team must have talked to him when the press hounded Girardi for details. More realistically, like most leaks, the press probably found out about it from an employee of the team.

            And yes, I know Girardi denied it when questioned, but he denied every injury all season. He even denied Rivera was hurt after Cashman told the press.

            At the point everyone knew Pettitte was hurt, Wang, Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy were all on the DL. It was after the trade deadline. Shutting down Pettitte would’ve meant handing Igawa a rotation spot and throwing up the white flag for the season, so it’s clear why they wanted him to pitch through it.

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

              I love the “were you in the dugout?” argument because, you know what, Ed? You weren’t either. So anything you’re basing your argument on is the same baseless conjecture I’m basing my argument on. Except for one thing: Common sense would dictate that a picture with a shoulder injury that his team knows about wouldn’t keep pitching. It’s not like shoulder injuries are minor. But clearly we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

              • Ed

                I shouldn’t have made the “were you in the dugout comment?” And yes, I’m making some assumptions. I’d be amazed if I convinced you of anything. But I don’t see how you can call my commentary baseless.

                The team sent him for an MRI in early September. That means they pitched him for a minimum of several weeks knowing he was in an abnormal amount of pain before canceling a start and sending him for a second MRI. The press usually gets their info from people in the game, so it’s very very likely that the team knew in early August, giving us reason to believe the team knew for almost two months.

                You can make a fuss over how long the team knew if you want to. But to call my comment baseless, you’d have to argue that there’s a difference between “asking an injured player to play” and “writing an injured player’s name on the lineup card until he tells you to stop?”

                • RustyJohn

                  While none of us were “in the dugout”, it isn’t inconceivable to think Andy hid the injury due to the fact that, oh I don’t know, 3/5ths of the rotation was already injured and he didn’t want to let the team down, thinking he could pitch through it.

  • Ed

    Gotta say, I agree with Davidoff. Piece together the #5, and sign Tex. Let Melky and Gardner split Center (which you can do if you have Tex in the lineup). Tex’s defense helps get the most out of the investment in pitching. Also keep in mind, at this point Tex would cost the Yanks only a 3rd round pick on top of the money. Load up this year and stay out of the Type A market next year.

    • K.B.D.

      I don’t think a pick, 1st round or 3rd, would ever preclude the Yanks’ from taking a guy like Teixera (at least it shouldn’t). It’s going to be the money.

      The Yanks already spent 200+ million dollars this off-season (if Sabathia doesn’t opt out) and their total salary for next year is going to be around 188 million. There’s no room for Tex.

      Also, I think the defense Tex would provide is over-rated. Giambi was only a -1.8 according to UZR. It’s our defense up the middle that hurts us more (Jeter with a -37.5 UZR and Cano with a -19.1).

  • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

    I wouldn’t mess around with Pettitte and blow him off…not for any nostalgic purposes, but because we could use his innings-eating presence in the rotation. Even though I didn’t find him to be particularly effective last year, I still think a 2009 rotation with Pettitte is better than one without him.

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

    I’m mixed on this one. I firmly believe that Andy Pettitte’s 2008 struggles have been quite exaggerated. However, I do think that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy need innings in the Bronx to continue their development; no matter how much fans want it to happen, they can never pitch enough at Triple-A to make a seamless transition to the Bronx, so deal with the growing pains.

    I am in favor of giving the fifth spot to Hughes or Kennedy, but I wont be critical of the decision to give said spot to the veteran, Pettitte – if that is what the Yankees decide to do.

    • whozat

      “they can never pitch enough at Triple-A to make a seamless transition to the Bronx, so deal with the growing pains.”

      Obviously. However, they can (and should) spend some more time showing that their secondary/new offerings are effective against the more patient hitters in AAA. We know that Kennedy’s curve and FB command (coupled with his already excellent change) can get out winter ball guys. I’d like him to show me that he can get AAA hitters out with that stuff too, not just skating by on his change like he was before.

      I’d also like Hughes to show me that his cutter is an effective pitch against hitters that are more discerning than AFL guys. Fall league players are usually high-end prospects, but generally young and somewhat raw…I’d like to see that the pitch is good against AAA hitters, and that Hughes demonstrates the confidence in it that he needs to go to it in big league games when he needs it.

      The point is I think that they DO have some stuff they can still work on in AAA, and that they won’t get to work on them in the bigs.

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

        OK, but what does Ian Kennedy have left to prove at Triple-A? In 67.2 IP at that level in 2008, Kennedy posted some excellent numbers: 2.45 FIP; 2.00 BB/9; 9.58 K/9; 0.40 HR/9.

        • whozat

          Quoting from what I said above:

          “We know that Kennedy’s curve and FB command (coupled with his already excellent change) can get out winter ball guys. I’d like him to show me that he can get AAA hitters out with that stuff too, not just skating by on his change like he was before.”

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Is it so important that a player be promoted when he has “nothing left to prove” at a particular level (i.e. he’s demonstrated the propensity for success at that level)? I’m not being argumentative with that question, it’s sincere. Isn’t there value in having a young player hone his skills in the minors, whether he’s shown he’s good enough to play well there already or not? And, if you have a guy like Hughes and a guy like Kennedy at AAA and not penciled into the rotation, aren’t you just that much more insulated from having to rely on the Sidney Ponsons, Darrell Rasners, Matt DeSalvos and Chase Wrights of the world? I bring up those guys not to crap on their contributions, but just to point out that depth is a very good thing. I don’t see what’s so harmful about having Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy honing their skills and getting innings at AAA when it’s all but assured that they will get meaningful innings at the MLB level at some point during the 2009 season (especially when you can fill that 5th slot with Andy Pettitte on a one-year commitment). What I, and others that support a Pettitte signing, propose is not an abandonment of the “youth movement” or whatever people want to characterize Cashman’s philosophy as. I’m not saying that the Yankees should stop investing in their developmental system or trade away their prospects or never give them a chance in NY. I just don’t think you have to pencil these guys in on opening day.

  • http://poormansanalyst.wordpress.com/ dan

    Something you didn’t mention that he wrote in the article:

    “Allow Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy a chance to contribute from that fifth starter’s role, rather than overspending on the fading Pettitte. Maybe Phil Coke and even Andrew Brackman can get into the mix.”

    Andrew Brackman? Really? The guy who hasn’t even pitched in single-A yet? Why don’t we throw Brett Marshall out there too, see what he can do.

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

      See Joba 2007.

      Brackman has the pure stuff to rocket through the system. Whether he has the control and pitching finesse right now to do it is another question.

      • K.B.D.

        Yeah, but Joba’s don’t happen every year. Plus, Joba wasn’t coming off of TJ.

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

          Oh right. I don’t expect it to happen, but Davidoff’s just using Brackman as an example to make a point.

          • K.B.D.

            On a separate note, I think we’ll see Z-Mac before we see A-Brack in the Bronx.

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

            True, but I think Dan’s point was that Davidoff’s excellent point was a tad diluted in the eyes of us hardcore fans because that was a reckless namedrop.

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

              Consider Davidoff’s audience though. It’s not highly informed RAB readers. It’s the Newsday circulation. Some will know that Brackman isn’t ready; others just know him as the flame-throwing former first rounder. It’s a rhetorical turn, but I see your point.

            • K.B.D.

              He was probably just picking a name people know, since Brackman was a first-round pick a year ago and is getting some press since he’s finally pitching again. Davidoff just as easily could have named Chris Garcia or Eric Hacker to be dark horses to contribute in the rotation.

    • A.D.

      He’s tossing it in there, probably cause its a name that reader might remeber even if they don’t follow the minors.

  • Yankee1010

    Before reading it, know that I’m a huge Hughes fan and I think that far too many have given up on him way too soon. I still think he’ll be a 1.5/2 starter.

    However, the case for Pettitte is that Joba’s innings will be capped (probably a max of 160), Burnett is no guarantee to top 160, Pettitte’s FIP was 3.74 (less than his 2007 FIP of 4.00), his line drive rate was essentially the same as 2007, his groundball rate increased over 2007, his K/9 increased by 1 a game, his BB/9 decreased by .5 a game, and he pitched 204 innings. Based on the peripherals, it’s easy to say that Pettitte pitched better in 2008 than he did in 2007. Nobody would have wanted Pettitte to leave after 2007, so the rush to push him out the door now is a little perplexing.

    I agree that Hughes needs to have a spot in the rotation soon. I also think that it will likely happen this year with the Joba innings cap and Burnett’s injury history. It also can’t be overlooked that Hughes has an innings cap this year. A rotation with Joba, Burnett and Hughes could easily turn into a situation where those 3 aren’t available at points of the year for various reasons. And yes, I know, most teams would kill to have this rotation situation.

    If Hughes has to wait until next year because Pettitte is signed and everyone else stays healthy, I think everyone will be OK with that. Then Hughes can slot in for Pettitte and both Hughes’ and Joba’s innings limits will be higher or gone.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I second that emotion. Well said.

  • AndrewYF

    Sign Pettitte.

    If Hughes and Kennedy don’t get significant innings in the Bronx due to Burnett, Pettitte, Sabathia, Wang and Joba all being healthy and effective, I’d sign up for that right now, and I dare anyone to say otherwise.

  • countryclub

    The problem with this thinking is that joba is going to be the 5th starter and he wont be pitching in the playoffs, both because of his innings limit. Andy on a one year deal does not kill the youth movement.

  • David

    Finally a baseball reported I can agree with.

  • gxpanos

    The thing is, his peripherals were good, better than 2007. Now, there was talk about his cutter losing some of its effectiveness, but I didn’t see it watching him pitch, and the stats (LD%) say he wasn’t really getting hit harder than any previous years.

    Give him one year, 12 or 13 mil, and see if this year was just unlucky. If not, he’s gone next year. And even if his ERA this year is 4.50 or 4.60, he’ll throw 200 innings, which will help with the Joba/Hughes innings caps, and Burnett DL time.

    However, I’m totally ready to listen to any good (IE, non-ERA based) arguments, anecdotal or statistical, that show Andy is over the hill. I just don’t think there are any.

    • K.B.D.

      He lost 14 games, the most in his career. That’s not ERA based and is even less indicative of how well he performed.

      • gxpanos

        True, good point; I’m open to any non-ERA, non-W-L-based arguments.

  • J-Gao

    Why is the 5th starter spot seen as so insignificant?
    At least 20 starts per year are made from the slot.
    I realize that you don’t need a great pitcher there because you’ll be facing a lesser pitcher, but wouldn’t you want a guy who gives you a better chance at winning. I think Andy Pettitte would provide that. Hughes, Chamberlain, Burnett, and maybe Sabathia are all possible injury concerns – Hughes, Chamberlain, and Burnett all have histories, and Sabathia was utterly abused by the Brewers late last year. Granted, Pettitte has had his share of problems, but he provides insurance, in addition to being probably the best 5th starter out there.

  • Arizona Steve

    The Yanks can choose between Hughes as the fifth Gadner in center and Tex at first or Pettitte fifth Cameron in center and Swisher at first. I like the first part better.

    • K.B.D.

      Why do people think we have room in the budget to sign Texeira? The total budget for next year already stands at around 188 million dollars or so. Signing Teixera would take another 20M, taking us over 200 with Cashman has said in the past he doesn’t want to do again because of how painful the luxury tax becomes.

      Tex = not happening.

  • TurnTwo

    forget Pettitte. either:

    1. trade Hughes, plus for Peavy and put together the potentially most dominant rotation of our generation. that type of rotation 1 thru 5 doesnt need an offensive upgrade anyway.

    2. let Hughes, Aceves, IPK, and crew battle for the 5th spot. let Gardner play CF everyday, and use the $20 million+ designated for Cameron and Pettitte this season and use it to sign Teixeira.

    • Baseballnation

      The guy soes not want to come to the A.l. Hello!

      I like your second point. Let Hughes win the 5th spot, continue his learning curve in the bigs, Kennedy spots with Aceves (who I don’t see nearly as highly as some other). Worst case scenario you can pick up a vet for the 5th in a trade.

    • DonnieBaseballHallofFame aka they guy who has well documented history of belligerent thickheadedness and anti-intellectual character assassinations

      TurnTwo I do not like either of those options. I would have traded Hughes for Santana (with Ian and Melky etc). I am not going to trade Hughes for Peavy when we will have to up his years and money which would make no sense for this team.

      The reason you sign Pettitte from a baseball standpoint is this:

      CC is fat and unproven in NY (second part of that I think will not really mean anything)
      AJ gets hurt a lot
      Wang has had his own injury issues
      Joba has innings limitations and injury issues
      Andy eats innings

      Now if I am passing on Andy for now, I am still looking for a cheap bargin bin guy later before the season starts (possibly even Andy if he really wants to pitch) but I will go with Hughes or whoever when need be if I do not get that bargin bin guy.

      If I am saving that 10mil on Andy and I do agree we should skip Cam at 10mill as well I would put that towards a HUGH one year offer to Manny.

      • Steve H

        If your 2nd part about CC doesn’t mean anything, what the hell does your first part have to do with anything? He’s extremely durable. He’s extremely athletic. And he’s extremely consistent in his delivery, hence lack of injuries. Plus, with the commitment the Yankees have made to him, he will not be pitching complete games on 3 days rest. Also, your argument is for 1 year. On the list of pitchers who are probable in baseball to get hurt next year, CC would be near the absolute bottom. Long term, look at David Wells. The guy made 30 starts in 9 of 10 seasons starting from when he was 34! He was fat. Your correlation sucks. Livan Hernandez is fat too, he’s never, ever hurt either.

        • justin

          I agree leave your fat biases at the door, CC has never shown any indication that his weight is any concern to anyone and I don’t see where you’re getting your opinions.

    • J-Gao

      Trade Matsui for something (-7 mill?)
      Sign Manny (20+ mill)
      Sign Teixeira (20+ mill)
      Sign Pettitte (10+ mill)
      Sign Aaron Miles (non-tendered and very valuable defensively)
      Trade for a CF (maybe not Cameron – I realize his K’s aren’t that big of a deal, but after watching Abreu, A-Rod, Giambi, I think that it might be best to find a guy who hits for contact)

      Okay, so maybe that puts the payroll over $220, but it builds a team that would be the Tiger Woods of baseball for at least 2 years.

      Damon lf
      Jeter ss
      Manny dh
      Rodriguez 3b
      Teixeira 1b
      Cano 2b
      Posada c
      Nady rf
      ??? cf

      Miles inf
      Molina c
      Swisher 1b/of
      Cabrera of



      Dear Santa: I’ve been a really good boy this year.

      • Steve H

        Juan Pierre is an available, contact hitting CF. The only problem is, he sucks. He’s never struck out more than 52 times in a year, and hits for a high average. Would you rather have him than Cameron? Please say no. In general, people who don’t strike out a lot, don’t get on base a lot.

        • J-Gao

          Maybe not that way. I mean, some power and a decent OBP. Oh, and play good defense. Obviously, there aren’t many guys that fit this criteria.

          Obvious ones that come to mind – Grady Sizemore, Carlos Beltran, Shane Victorino, B.J. Upton, and Curtis Granderson. A little too expensive in terms of prospects needed to be traded.

          However, two other “under the radar guys” are Jody Gerut and Marlon Byrd who posted OBP’s of .351 and .380, respectively, as well as 14 and 10 HR’s. They were also rated as above-average defenders in center by some defensive metric I have no idea about.


          • Steve H

            You know what Cameron will give you, those other 2 do not have a track record to rely on. Cameron has had an OPS+ in excess of 100 for 10 straight years, while providing good to great D in center with good speed. He’s good for 20+ HR’s a year, and hit 25 in only 120 games last year. Marlon Byrd has hit 20 in his last 2 seasons of over 800 ab’s, with a career high of 10. Gerut had a nice comeback season last year, but before that hadn’t played in the majors since 2005, and he was awful then. Not Mr. Reliable by any means.

            • J-Gao

              This is true.
              But. personally, I’m not sure Cameron’s worth his pricetag. At least the other two will cost little in terms of both price and prospects. They’re also younger.

      • Brooklyn Ed

        Matsui isn’t going anywhere.

        The Yanks didn’t acquired Swisher to sit.

        Signing Manny and Teixeria, in your dreams!

        Ransom will most likely be our utility player since he could play all over the infield and 2 corner OF.

        Other than that, everything else is fine. :D

        • J-Gao

          Well, what I believe is realistic has zero impact on what the Yankees actually do. So I’ll interest myself by hoping they do sign two of the best hitters in the league. And as much as I like him, Matsui will have to go to make room for these guys, and Swisher will head to the bench. I’m sure the Mariners would be dumb enough to trade mid-level prospect for him and his salary.

          As for Miles vs. Ransom, I’d rather have Miles who played 2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,and RF last year and has proven he can fill in and hit for an extended period of time in case anything happens to Jeter or Cano. The only advantage Ransom has is an ability to play first base (Teixeira, Nady, Swisher and Posada) and hit for power (wouldn’t be a problem if we signed Manny and Tex).

          But nothing I say/type really matters.

    • E-ROC

      “Jake has a strong preference to stay in the National League. If Jake’s ever going to accept anything to the American League – and I don’t want this to be taken wrong – I can safely say that it’s going to be the Yankees or Red Sox or maybe the Angels. Those teams are going to be in contention and are going to spend money. If there were circumstances where he would be asked to go to the AL, kicking and screaming, those are the three places.” –Peavy’s Agent said. MLBTR

      This makes you happy, doesn’t it?

    • 65hughes

      you dont have to give up hughes for peavy turn two i think ipk and jackson could get done specially now that nobody in the nl cant trade for peavy and towers wants to run him out of town

  • christopher

    problem is that they are trying to bring Andy back to pitch in the 4th slot. Talent wise Joba is their number 4 but in reality he is going to be limited in his starts. For this season, I cannot see having Hughes, Aceves, or Kennedy in back of a guy who cannot give us more than 150 innings this year.

    Because of his talent, people are forgetting that this is the year for Joba to break into the rotation as a full time starter. I would like him to get a year under his belt before they stick another rookie in the rotation

    • Ksturnz

      dog, it is all fluid, just because Hughes is lined up to start the 5th game on oppening day, it doesn’t mean that Aceves/IPK/Horne can’t make any spot starts

  • MrAwesome

    Paying Andy 10 million for only ONE year is not a waste. Especially if it lets the kids develop for one more year, like we should have done with Hughes. Otherwise, Kennedy and Aceves are going to be making a bunch of starts to fill in when someone goes on the DL, which IS going to happen.

    • TheLastClown

      This post is somewhat readable, more than I can say for the one which I can only assume was deleted…

      But to actually reply, the Yankees agree with you, it is Andy who *I can only assume* does not.

      The $10M offer is out there. Andy has said nothing. He wants a couple million more to not take a 35+% pay cut.

      As for letting the kids develop, they are as developed as they’re going to get, at the AAA level anyway. I can see no harm & letting Kennedy mow down AAA guys to get his confidence level up, but what he, and Hughes, really need is to be able to succeed at the Big League Level, which means being able to take some lumps without being called a bust, and which means being able to try and keep your confidence level up and not be called an arrogant, cocky bust.

      I think Aceves, out of the three of them, is the most ready to be a regular ML starter, but that’s just me.

      • justin

        How do you know they are as developed as they are going to get? What is the percentage of player’s under 23 years old that have reached their ceilings at the major league level? It can’t be very high. They are extremely young and incredibly inexperienced and have not come anywhere close to the point where anyone can say definitively what they will or will not become.

        • K.B.D.

          His point was they are as developed as they will get at the AAA level and it doesn’t do them any good to mow people down in the minors when they need to be getting time in the show to really come along as pitchers.

          • TheLastClown


    • David

      Kennedy and Aceves making some starts is not a bad thing. Its what normal organizations do. Aceves was very good last year. Kennedy struggled, but was very good the previous year. Giving up on young players for one bad year is a bad way to run team.

      • emac2

        Get a clue David!

        Aceves sucks!

        Did he win 20 games last year?

        Does he have any rings?

        Has he dominated the red sox?

        Did he win all of his games, his ERA was well over 2 and his whip well over 1. What makes you think this scrub is worth of any major league starts?

        Just kidding – I agree with you

  • Mike W.

    I am not even that big of a Phil Hughes fan and I constantly have asked what you guys see in him that makes people say he can be a #1 or #2, but with the way that our rotation is stacked right now, the #5 is the perfect spot for him. Let’s give him the ball every five days and see what he can do in the big leagues. Pettitte did not look good at all in the second half of the season and I find it hard to believe that he bounces back this year. Why not let Hughes show us what he can do and prove me wrong. I hope he does…

    • K.B.D.

      No one ever expected him to step in and be a #1 or #2 in his rookie year. People said he could be a #1 or #2 because at age 20 he posted a 2.16 cumulative ERA between A+ and AA with a 10.65 K/9 rate, while showing great control to the tune of a 1.96 BB/9 rate. The next year as a 21-year old in AAA, he put up a 2.20 ERA in 28 innings. The kid was EXCELLENT at a very young age. His stuff and makeup all pointed to being a frontline starter and it still does.

      • Mike W.

        Which is why I am saying forget Andy as the #5 and let Hughes throw the ball every 5th day in the bigs and show us what he can do…

        • Ksturnz

          You can’t spell phranchise without Phil’s initials. Try it.

        • K.B.D.

          It’s not that simple as signing Pettitte fills the #5 spot. Andy can fill in for the innings that Burnett and Joba are going to end up missing, then you can have Hughes/Aceves/Kennedy step up and show us what they have. If they pitch well, there will be a place for them.

  • E-ROC

    Bring Andy Pettitte back or get Ben Sheets for two years, or go with the young guns.

    • TheLastClown

      I think Andy really is the best option.

      Im an advocate for Sheets IF they don’t get a serious bat.

      If they do go for Sheets, however, I feel like a rotation featuring Burnett & Sheets is in essence going with the young guns, conservatively, because one of them is sure to miss some time in any given year.

      With Hughes/Aceves/IPK spotting Joba & filling in for Burnett and/or Sheets, respectively, it’s almost an 8 man rotation, with the weakest link being IPK, which IMO is pretty damn good.

      My preference, colored by what I think is realistic, is go get Andy & Dunn.

  • Mike Gwizdala

    I agree with trying to work the young kids into the rotation, but as you mentioned there’s injury possibilities there with Joba and A.J. and Pettitte threw 200 innings last year, imagine how much better Pettitte will do when matched up against the other teams’ 5th starter? He could be this year’s Mike Mussina… besides as far as home grown Yankees in the rotation, Joba and Wang are home grown, which is one more than those 90’s rotations ever had.

  • ortforshort

    Davidoff is a moron. If the young pitchers are any good, they’ll work themselves in. We’ve seen last year the folly of annointing young pitchers without a backup plan. Cashman learned his lesson apparently. Davidoff was living under a rock somewhere.

    • justin

      How can they work themselves into a full rotation? I understand people will get injured during the course of the year but barring anything serious the injured will return and then they get sent back down. Last year the Yankees trusted 3 spots to 3 rookies and that didn’t work. This year’s situation is a bit different as the Yanks have already added a great deal more depth to the rotation and have more young pitchers far enough along in their development to pitch in the bigs. Essentially leaving 1 spot open for 4 or 5 guys. If they sign Pettitte/Sheets/Lowe/Whoever, the best that any of the kids can hope for is a spot start here and there, I think if you make the kids fight it out in the spring you’ll get a more inspired performance from them than you’d get from a 36 year old vet with a guaranteed contract. I love Andy Pettitte and I’m glad they offered him the 10 million, but if he doesn’t accept I don’t think the Yankees should sign anyone else. Leaving them down in the minors for one more season isn’t going to hurt anyone, but leaving them down for 2 or 3 years (Sheets) or god forbid 4 years (Lowe) would be a waste of years of time and effort. I just don’t see Cashman going for this. My opinion is if Pettitte doesn’t sign put some pressure on the coals and hope that one of them turns into a diamond.

    • TheLastClown

      Well, seeing as how last years rotation stacked up as:


      What it looks like before the season:
      You’ve got a horse who you’ll count on for 16-21 W & 200+IP *obviously injury unforeseen*

      A “has-been” vet coming off his worst season ever *obviously stellar transformation unforeseen*

      Another horse who unfortunately couldn’t get all of his Spring Workouts in because of the PED business

      And then two rookies, who you’re counting on to be solid & consistent.

      Now lets look at what this year looks like without Andy, or what Davidoff sees with what little light can come in under his rock


      Now you’ve got 2 horses on whom you can count for 200+IP
      A fireballer with upside/injury risk, but coming off a career year
      Joba, ’nuff said
      And Hughes, the rookie

      I guess with this plan, they’d skip the 5th spot as often as possible, let Joba & Hughes alternate starts, and use IPK/Aceves to spot them when they need it.

      Now do you see why this plan looks nothing like relying on Hughes & IPK last year?
      We now get 550-600 IP from our frontline three, definitely not something projected for last year. But, confidentially, I’ll tell you something. The only reason Hughes & Kennedy didn’t succeed last year was because Joba started the year in the pen!!

    • emac2

      I think it is pretty clear who the moron is. Any clown calling for spending 10 mil on a 40 year old number 5 starter when you have 3 top prospects ready for the rotation doesn’t get it.

  • LeftyLarry

    Not resigning Andy would be a huge mistake.
    To begin with, forget last season.Everybody knows Pettitte was not in his usual excellent shape after the Clemens and HGH issues of last winter and it was no surprise the bottom fell out for him in the 2nd half.He can still pitch and Leftys who can give you 35 Major league starts are hard to replace.
    Secondly, Joba is far from a lock as a starting pitcher and Hughes and his straight fast are questionable also.Both could be great and Joba could end up in the pen or disabled list also and Hughes back in the minors.
    Just too difficult to predict at this point.
    Frankly, I’d give Andy 2 years for 20 million (or one year for 10-12) and hope Bleich is the real deal and ready to be the #5 lefty starter by then.
    With C.C. on board and Marte and Coke in the pen and with Dunn and DeLarosa getting close, Yankees are in better shape than expected with Southpaws in general.

    • Rich

      Why do you think Pettitte fell off during the 2nd half because of his off-season problem?

      I think Pettitte’s performance fell in 2008 off because he had to stop using HGH. Since he can’t use HGH in 2009 why do you think he’ll revert to 2006/7 results?

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

        “I think Pettitte’s performance fell in 2008 off because he had to stop using HGH.”

        This shows that you know nothing about the nature of HGH and its effects on baseball players.

      • LeftyLarry

        If you’re a veteran pitcher and you don’t come in shape and have some minor issues in spring training, no surprise when the bottom falls out later on.
        He had arm issues at the end and he’s healthy now.I expect a mussina like last season.

  • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    I think Pettitte should go. Davidoff’s 100% correct on this one–you’re inhibiting the growth of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy (and Alfredo Aceves if you care about him that much), who are capable pitchers and have nothing left to prove in AAA. As of now, are rotation is CC-Wang-Burnett-Joba-Hughes. If there’s an injury, you replace Burnett the injured starter with Aceves/Kennedy. If there’s another injury, you replace the injured guy with whomever wasn’t chosen from Aceves or Kennedy. Alan Horne, Humberto Sanchez (if he sticks in the rotation), George Kontos, and/or Chris Garcia (or even someone else) should be ready by the end of the year to be replacement-level if Joba reaches his innings cap a bit early or if something unexpected happens. I doubt that 2009 Yankee starting staff will be so fragile as to have more than a couple of moderate-to-big injuries.

  • VO

    what about rocco baldelli, jerry hairston, or gabe kapler in center

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

      Seriously? The only one of those I would even consider is Baldelli and his stamina and health basically ensure that he’s nothing more than a fourth OF/platoon partner. What do you see in Hairston or Kapler?

      • VO

        well baldelli would be maybe once every other day or something like that with melky or gardner as for kapler granted he only had 229 AB he hit .301 with 8 hrs, and is a decent fielder and hairston in 261 at bats hit .326 with 6 hrs and is a decent fielder as well, these guys also will cost less then cameron

    • http://liberalmusings.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      Baldelli can’t play everyday, Hairston sucks, and Kapler’s a very good 4th OF.

      • VO


        • VO

          except about hairston, he doesnt suck just needs…..some work

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

            Considering how old Hairston is and the fact that he’s been consistently terrible except for a few ABs in Cincinnati’s bandbox last year, I have no qualms saying that he sucks.

            • VO

              alright alright maybe he does suck but if hes not making much money cant you somehow manage to get rid of him in spring trainning?

              • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                Maybe the Yankees should just not acquire the guy instead of acquiring him and somehow managing to get rid of him in spring training.

            • Greg C

              Hairston definitely sucks. I had to watch him all those years in Baltimore when he was young ( and probably on PEDs) and sucked. Now he’s old and had a part of 1 good season.

              There are a lot of old guys who suck that have had 1 ( or more) good year and are cheap -and they are still not worth even inviting to ST.

    • emac2

      I would love to get Hairston for the utility role. I like the other guys too but Hairston would be the best of the 3 by far.

  • Ivan

    I don’t get a hat tip on the article?

    I mean im the one who brought it up late last night.

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

      Ah, sorry. I didn’t know you brought it up. Considering the volume of comments we’ve been getting lately, we can’t keep up with every single one.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        RAB Fail.

        • Ivan


  • dlcb

    The Rays received 153 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The Red Sox received 134 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The Blue Jays received 139 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The White Sox received 153 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The Twins received 137 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The Angels received 149 starts from their top 5 pitchers.
    The Yankees received 117 starts from their top 5 pitchers.

    That’s an average of about 140 games started from your top five starters. There will probably be plenty of opportunities for Hughes to get his starts in the majors as the sixth starter. And if the Yankees are unfortunate as last year with regards to pitching injuries, then Kennedy and Aceves will get their opportunities as well.

    The pitching situation as it is now isn’t that much different from what it was going into last year in terms of starters. Sabathia and Burnett will replace Mussina and Pettitte, and Joba will start the season in the rotation. That’s probably an upgrade in quality, but you will not be receiving that many extra starts. A quality sixth starter like Hughes ensures that you won’t have trash like Ponson and Rasner starting 35 games combined.

    If Pettitte is retained for one year, Hughes moves into his slot next year with Kennedy and the other young upcoming pitchers taking Hughes’ old role.

    • TheLastClown

      Probably an upgrade in quality?

      Sabathia > Andy

      Burnett I don’t know, obviously in pure stuff he’s better than Moose but I just loved watching him pitch last year, and I’ve never been much into Burnett, but assuming Moose couldn’t repeat his 08 performance….Burnett > Moose

      Joba starting the season in the rotation is definitely an upgrade in quality.

      If we can order CMW to strikeout in interleague play, then we’ve got plenty more starts coming out of him.

      I think you can count on the Yanks’ opening day rotation for more starts, more quality, more innings, more Ks, more everything.

      I’m OK w/ or w/o Andy

      • dlcb

        I wasn’t aware that the word “probably” was an insult. Mussina and Pettitte pitched over 400 innings with an ERA+ of 112. It is probable but not guaranteed that Sabathia and Burnett match that.

        And that wasn’t the purpose of the post. The purpose was to show that 25 starts will be there for Hughes even if the Yankees resign Pettitte.

    • David

      Mussina wasn’t really expected to provide much in terms of innings last year, while Pettitte was. Kennedy and Hughes were both in the rotation to start the year. I think the situation is fairly different. Paying Pettitte 10 million or more just doesn’t make sense when we have major holes on offense.

      • emac2

        Major holes on Offense?

        Is that Yankeespeak for a couple of spots without an allstar offensive player?

        • David

          That’s Yankees speak for not having a good offense. We were lacking last year and lost major obp in Abreu and Giambi. Matsui can’t be depended on because he is breaking down. Posada is a major question mark with his injuries. Cano is a question mark, though I think he’ll bounce back. Jeter is likely in decline mode. Damon has trouble staying on the field. A-Rod is the only feared hitter. We need another big bat.

          • emac2

            We do not need another big bat. We need to look at the team from the perspective a a major league team instead of the all star team we aspire to field. Every team in the majors has holes in their offense because no one has an all star at every position.

            People seem to forget how many games we won last year in a season when we lost most of our pitching staff as well as posadas injury and everything else.

            You can’t say every injury and down year is a big risk of a repeat and it isn’t like we are unable to replace someone in season if we have an injury.

            I don’t think we need to act so desperate and insecure that we have to exceed 200 million for payroll again. It’s OK to go into a season without being the best team by far. It’s OK to try to earn the victory by playing well instead of having so many stars you can still win if half of them die.

            • David

              We scored 3 runs or less 70 times last year and could be worse the current collection of players. We do need one big bat.

    • emac2

      What a lame post!

      “The pitching situation as it is now isn’t that much different from what it was going into last year in terms of starters.”

      Get a clue! Yeah we had 5 starters both years but other than that it is very different.

      • dlcb

        You’re a tool.

        You know it’s probably not a good idea to post if you’ve got nothing to say. You single out a few words and ignore the rest. I explained myself in my post.

        • emac2

          How many stupid points do I have to argue to be allowed to say your entire premise is garbage?

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

          Ugh. Name calling. Can’t stand it. Please stop.

          emac2 attacked your idea. You attacked him as a person. The former is perfectly fine. The latter angers Ganesh.

  • Lanny

    We get it, Ben. You hate Pettitte. It’s like a broken record now. You sound like Steve at Was Watching when he rants about Cashman.

    For a 4th starter you can do plenty worse than a guy who won 14 games last yr in the Al East and is lefty and has proven he can thrive in NY.

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

      Gosh, Lanny. You’re right. Every day for the last three years, I’ve written uninformed anti-Pettitte screeds. I totally see the similarities. How could I have been so blind?

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        I don’t know how the Pettitte family has withstood your constant criticism, Ben, it’s truly a testament to their intestinal fortitude.

        Lanny – wtf are you talking about?

  • Larry

    sign Andy for $10m, but don’t chase him. Don’t spend the $10m on Cameron. Sign Tex. I’d like to see what Phil has early.

  • Pingback: First CC, Now AJ « jockr

  • Brian

    The reason I like adding Pettitte is that you can sign him to a one-year deal. That takes the pressure off of the kids to be ready NOW, and allows them the time to develop, without locking up a spot in the rotation for the long-term.

  • Hawkins44

    Sign Andy for 10 million…move Joba to the 8th…. then your rotation is:


    8th Joba
    CL Mo

    that’s pretty tough……Kennedy/Aceves are fill in’s…….

    • Ivan

      HELL NO.

    • K.B.D.

      Can we consider “Joba in the pen” comments baiting? I think we’re far enough along in that discussion…

    • Old Ranger

      What is up with you? You may wish to use your head for thinking.
      Not meaning to be to disrespectful but, come on be realistic. Joba in the pen=85-95 innings. Next year his limits are at 120 innings+-20, as a starter…not good. Joba as a starter this year 150+- 20 innings, next year 200+- innings as a starter…very good.
      Please let us put that BP set-up roll a rest. We have all gone over and over it many times. Joba is a starter…end of story.
      No more of your comment baiting, please. You have a right to your opinion and you have used it many times the last couple days (I think). This happens to be mine. Thank you for understanding and keep on keeping on. 27/09.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        All – If you don’t want him to “comment bait,” don’t fall for the bait. Just don’t respond.

    • David

      Maybe we should move CC to the pen. If he’s an elite starter, imagine how good he’ll be as a set up man.

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

      This has to be a $5

      (It’s a term from Keith Law’s blog, wherein someone says something so blatantly stupid that it has to be with the intention of baiting Keith. When the person is outed, he or she is supposed to donate $5 to charity.)

  • emac2

    Pettitte is not worth 10 mil and while I can see offering it I don’t think the offer should stay on the table. He is not doing us a favor by playing for 10 mil and I’m not interested in having players that think they are doing favors for their employers by agreeing to work for several times their value.

    I would much rather leave room in the rotation for the kids than to beg Andy to accept a measley 10 mil to be a Yankee.

    Go back to Houston!

  • Old Ranger

    Thank you MR. Davidoff, a voice of reason out there at last.

    Andy would be nice but (as I stated many times) he nor any outside pitcher is needed. If the rotation is set (even for this year) with three FA pitchers, when and where do the other young guns get a chance. Where is the next CMW, Joba, Andy etc., coming from? These guys have more then proven themselves at AAA, pitching against AAA players will not make them better…it may let them fall into bad habits.
    This same thing holds true for the position players, giving one a cup of coffee is not much of a chance to show their wares. Think of the catcher we let go, he was given a chance to play and now is a good catcher…for someone else. He was never given more then a sip of coffee.
    Youth inter spaced with good vets, works most of the time but, we can’t forget the YOUTH part of the equation. 27/09.

    • Nady Nation

      See my comment below.

  • Nady Nation

    We’re talking about signing Pettitte to a ONE year deal. As many have noted, with Joba’s innings cap and Burnett’s incapability of staying healthy, you have 2 spots at some point in the season right there for Hughes and Kennedy to fill in. I don’t see how or why people are so vehemently against bringing in a proven lefty 200 IP workhorse whose had an extremely successful career just b/c of one bad half a season, especially considering what happened last year when relying on the kids and the presence of 2 uncertanties with our current top 4 starters. If people honestly think THIS signing is the one that would indicate the Yankees getting away from the youth movement, as opposed to the Burnett signing, then I think they’re misguided. Apparently, it’s not being stressed enough that this is a one year commitment. I find it very hard to believe that Phil Hughes starting his first full Major league season at age 23 instead of 22 would be “stunting his growth.”

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      I’m with you on this one.

      It’s a (proposed) 1 year deal, it’s not like anyone wants to lock in 5 30-something pitchers to 5-year contracts and never promote another prospect ever again. Supporting a Pettitte signing is NOT a vote against player development, nor is it a statement of opposition to the rise of Hughes/IPK/others nor a vote of no confidence in their abilities.

      • Nady Nation

        Congressman Mondesi, you are rather honorable.

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Heh. I think you mean: “Congressman Mondesi, you are rather honorable. when you agree with me.

    • Old Ranger

      I understand what you are saying, and agree to some extent. The likely hood of Phil starting a few games is out there for all to see (maybe 6 to 12). I like the idea of Phil/Aceves in the 5th spot, this is my preference only.
      Andy is an inning eater par excel lance, no doubt about it. As far as I am concerned the last part of 2008 was an aberration, unknown to us he gutted it out with a nagging injury. He has done the same thing before. If he comes back, I would welcome him…he has always been a class guy (except, when his feels are hurt)…funny, funny. I just think it is about time to get on with the young guys. I sure don’t want another FA pitcher with a 3-5 year contract blocking the way. By the way, any thoughts on us getting Tex instead of another pitcher. 27/09.

      • Nady Nation

        We’re on the same page about the young guns, which is one of the reasons I disliked locking Burnett in for 5 years. I just don’t think one more year of Andy would greatly inhibit IPK or Hughes. In terms of your last point, I love Teix, and if passing on Andy actually made the difference to get Teix, then I’m obviously all for it.

        • Old Ranger

          Oh I think they would adapt alright, the thing I worry about (mostly young pitchers) the most is a little thing called rhythm. starting a game every month or two weeks apart is not the best way to keep things sharp. This is one big reason a long reliever is a special pitcher, not the best pitcher out of the BP…it takes a special type to fill that roll.
          Looking at the situation realistically, the justification for advocating the use of youth over proven FA pitchers is a tenuous theme. The sure way is signing a FA for one year…I guess, it’s my opinion to pass on another FA pitcher. Can we go wrong either way? I don’t think so. 27/09.

      • dlcb

        Do you really think the rotation, including Pettitte is going to stay healthy enough to give the Yankees 150-156 starts? It could happen, but it rarely ever does. It’s likely that even with Pettitte there would be enough room for Hughes to make 20+ starts.

        Anyway, I agree with avoiding the long contracts for anymore pitchers. There is no room for Sheets now.

        As for Tex, I’m sure a lot of us are hoping the Yankees go that direction, even if it means forgoing Pettitte/Cameron, but judging by all of Cashman’s comments I’ve seen, it isn’t going to happen. It really is a shame.

  • Greg C

    Joba should be the 5th starter. I would expect him to be the best 5th starter in baseball but still the 5th starter. If he has an innings limit it will take care of itsself there

  • Greg C

    Well, I submitted before I meant to and in the middle of correcting a spelling error. Anyway, I think the hole right now is 4th starter for one year. Which could be Pettitte, but not at $16 mil.

    I’m not saying to give up on the young guys. Hell, I was one of the only people last year who wasn’t saying to get rid of IPK immediately. And who knows what Hughes and the other guys can do.

    There is just no reason with the options available that anyone Ponson-like should be making a single start in 2009. And that includes old Ponsons and young Ponson/Rasneresque “prospects.”

  • http://aroundthemajors.blogspot.com/ Around The Majors

    I wouldn’t mind not signing Pettitte and using Hughes or Aceves. I’m just worried about our rotation staying completely healthy, and if we don’t sign Pettitte, regretting it when a starter goes down.

  • erik

    1st trade damon/matsui
    2nd sign SHEETS for the two years plus option
    3rd Trade for a young centerfielder aka kemp (switch jackson to left field) for reliever/s , ian kennedy, prospect/s from damon/matsui trade and igawa if they will take him (i can pray)
    4th keep swisher at 1st
    5th take extra bullpen depth (coke and sanchez and reconvert into starters)
    6th use young arms for when someone gets hurt
    7th find a young barigain utility infielder
    8th win

    • K.B.D.

      1. Why trade Damon when he posted a 118 OPS+ and was a great leadoff hitter? Who is going to replace him? Nobody wants Matsui because he is an overpaid defensively challenged outfielder coming off two knee surgeries.
      2. We already have our injury-prone starter from this year’s FA market and his name is AJ Burnett.
      3. You’d have to trade Cano for Kemp and then some, how do you replace Cano? Besides, you’d be selling low on him and he could easily have a bounce-back year and be a big reason the Yanks’ succeed. And why move Jackson from CF when he is probably better there defensively than Kemp?

      • Old Ranger

        #1 Johnny had a very erratic year, very streaky. the ending numbers are good. How he produced is something to turn you attention to…in a nut shell, not good. People were saying “As Johnny goes, the team goes.”, that was BS, he scored less the 100 runs. If one hits .303 with a .370+ OBP, they are bound to score some runs.
        #2 True, but some seem to think he has done away with the injuries of the past…I am with them…hope. We don’t need Sheets at all.
        #3 I don’t have a disagreement with you at all.
        My take; Get Tex, forget about another pitcher, trade Johnny and put swisher in the out field. Let last years CF hit in Johnny’s place…even if his AAA numbers translate to the majors-10% we are looking at; .267 avg/.373 OBP/.753OPS, even though I think he can do; .285 avg. /.800+OPS. 27/09.

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

          Damon didn’t score 100 runs because the people behind him weren’t driving him in. It has nothing to do with some erratic year that you think he had.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      3rd Trade for a young centerfielder aka kemp (switch jackson to left field) for reliever/s , ian kennedy, prospect/s from damon/matsui trade and igawa if they will take him (i can pray)

      Whaddya think, guys… batshit insane or just batshit crazy?

      • K.B.D.

        Batshit psychotic?

  • kenthadley

    if Andy doesnt want the 10 mil, how about 4 for Daniel Cabrera as a #5?

    • K.B.D.

      Dude’s never posted a league average ERA+ and his strikeout rate has fallen while his BB rate has increased. No thanks, I’d rather Hughes just take it even if he gets thumped.

  • MikeD

    If the Yankees believe Pettitte’s arm is okay and that all he needed was some rest, then they should bring him back, as opposed to signing Sheets. The Yankees are going to limit Joba’s total innings to about 150, either by holding him to 30 starts and five innings a clip, or probably by holding him to no more than 25 regular season starts. Add in AJ’s history of missing starts, which means two of our five starters will probably come in under 30 starts. CC, Wang and Pettitte will have to be the workhorses. Hughes and IPK will probably get about 15 starts.

    CC – 33 G
    Wang – 31 G
    Pettitte – 31 G
    AJ – 27 G
    Joba – 25 G
    Hughes/IPK – 15

    I’m just playing with numbers here. CC may start more, but Wang may start less, or Joba may only start in the low 20s. Now pull out Pettitte, and slot in Sheets. Now we’d have a third 20-something-start pitcher. Too risky, which is why I think Pettitte is needed for another year. Even last year he pitched more than 200 innings. Sheets hasn’t broken that level in four years. It’s also why the Yankees don’t want to count on Hughes for the Pettitte slot. He has not been durable. He needs to get starts consistently to build up his arm. He’ll help in ’09, but I don’t think he’ll be a regular member of the rotation until 2010.

    Davidoff is wrong. The Yankees rushed Hughes and IPK out of necessity, and it’s actually hurt them. 2009 will allow them to correct that situation, allow the youngsters to develop, and when we need a sixth starter, it won’t be a Rasner or a Ponson, and that’s the best news of all.

  • RustyJohn

    I had a theory that i thought was b.s. until I saw hardball times did a story on it 2 or 3 years ago. That theory was those teams that made the playoffs did so based on the strength of their 4th and 5th starters. The reason is the drop off from an average team’s #1 to a #3 starter is not that significant- it comes out to like 1/2 to 1 run’s difference in ERA- but the drop off from a 3rd starter to a fifth is about 1-2 runs in ERA. The reason is most teams don’t have the payroll to fill those spots (4 and 5) with quality guys, or if they do they have injuries which force them to fill those spots during the season with AAAA or AAA guys.

    With Pettite in the 5 spot (or 4 spot if Joba is 5), you basically have an innings eater who will have a 4-4.5 ERA going against guys that will only be going 5 or 6 innings with eras between 5 and 6. If you have an injury then he bumps up a slot or two to #3.

    Does anyone really think that Hughes and IPK will stay all year in AAA with Sabathia having been ridden like a horse by Milwaukee last year, Wang coming off of an injury, Joba coming off an injury and Burnett in the rotation?