We’re not entirely sure what’s going on with Andy Pettitte. He has a $10 million offer on the table and has yet to accept it. After the Yankees inked Mark Teixeira, some said that the Yanks considered pulling the offer, but that apparently has not happened yet. So we could still see Andy re-up with the Yankees, but it’s far from a guarantee.
The alternative to Pettitte as the fifth starter is a competition among those already in the organization. I’ve frequently seen the suitors listed as Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, etc., though I’m not quite sure whom would be considered etc. Dan Giese? Maybe as a short-term option, but he looks like a better option in the bullpen. Chase Wright? Kei Igawa? Other than throwing left-handed, these two offer little to the major league club right now.
Picking the best from Aceves, Hughes, and Kennedy isn’t the worst plan in the world — certainly it’s better than implicitly handing any of them a spot outright. What do those three have in common, though? A lack of major league experience. Not that it’s a bad thing. Everyone has to start somewhere. Yet I can’t help but think it might behoove the Yankees to bring in a veteran to add to the competition.
We’re not talking about someone like Ben Sheets here, who would certainly require a guaranteed rotation spot before signing, and perhaps a multi-year deal as well. I’m talking about someone like Brad Penny. Buster Olney mentioned Penny’s situation in his blog today, noting that the veteran righty “may soon make his decision about where he wants to pitch in 2009,” noting that he wants a one-year deal to re-establish his credibility.
Unfortunately, it looks like Penny is the only attractive name among the available free agents. By attractive, I mean someone who has had past success at the major league level, preferably on a consistent basis. Even Penny himself might be a stretch, since he could easily land a guaranteed major league deal, rather than the minor league deal which would be ideal for a competition scenario.
So while it’s nice to think about adding a new element to a fifth starter competition, it doesn’t seem very likely. There might be some names on the board right now, but they’ll start dropping once we hit mid-January and teams start to fill out their rosters. But just for the hell of it, who would you guys target as some fifth starter competition for the youngsters?