Should the Yankees be satisfied with their fifth starter competition?

Pettitte offer still on the table
Saturday night open thread

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?

Pettitte offer still on the table
Saturday night open thread
  • tomaconda

    I vote for Hughes or Pettitte.

  • Ivan

    Well I would love for Hughes to win it. Take off some of the pressure and hopefully he can be healthy and demostrate his ability to the yanks and baseball.

    • tomaconda

      Thats why Pettitte works for me as well. One year, Joba loses his inning cap and then you have less pressure on Hughes as a true #5.

  • Sean

    You forget to throw Phil Coke into the mix. Cashman has spoken numerous times that Coke’s role is not necessarily going to be in the pen just because of his success during the later part of last season.

    • tomaconda

      Coke has a 93-94 mph fastball but his secondary pitches are not that great. Would make a better reliever.

      • Michael

        What secondary pitches does he have? Have you seen them? Would it be fair to say that because of his relief role last year, that he stuck to his “out” pitch which is a pretty good fastball?

        • ryan

          actually he has a good slider and displayed that many times…it’s been noted as the reason for his recent domination in AA.

        • currambayankees

          He’s also developed his change.

  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

    Free Agent wise, I’m sure the name “Mark Prior” will be thrown around a bit–if we’re talking Minor Leauge Deals, I mean.

    • Ivan

      I hate to say it but Mark Prior is done.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

        Probably. But if we’re talking about 5th starter competition and minor league deals…whatevs. I’d prefer it to be Hughes or Pettitte.

      • tomaconda

        Stick a fork in him. Its a shame too. He had better stuff than most of todays top pitchers.

  • pat

    I have an odd feeling that the mexican gangster could aptly hold down the 4th or 5th spot for at least a few months while phil or ipk get some innings in AAA. I was reading an interview with him somewhere and this little snippet stuck out at me. He was talking about the differences between MLB and mexico and said that in mexico you dont really work out or do anything and here you throw bullpens between starts and coaches watch you and stuff. He seems to really like all the extra attention and coaching and working out they do in the US. To me thats the sign of a guy who can be successful in the US at the big league level, if at the not so young age of 26 he is embracing a whole new workout regimen and coaching approach.

    • Jay CT

      Aceves, I feel, is just what we saw from IPK the previous year; he came up in September and pitched a few innings. I liked what I saw, but I am not sure that its real yet. I would love to still see Pettitte, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Hughes at all, or even IPK. If both kids cannot stick in a 5 spot, their stock and confidence is going to plummet

      • Todd

        I think your doubt is fair, given the small sample size. The point is, bringing in a Pettitte at $10 mil, we will never know what these guys have. Remember, guys like Pettitte, Bernie, and even a Mo were at least given a chance. And Bernie darn near sucked his first few years. Plus, he looked like a complete sucka with those glasses he used to wear. Then, out of no where, he became Bernie.

        And also, the times I saw Aceves pitch, he seemed to throw just as hard if not harder than Hughes.

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

          “Plus, he looked like a complete sucka with those glasses he used to wear.”

          What does that have to do with anything?

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            You have to look bad ass when you pitch. Duh.

          • Jay CT

            I have no issue with giving them all a shot. I want them to have a chance, the best way for the Yankees to become a dynasty again is to have both home grown talent and intellegent trades/free agent signing. However, often times I think people overrate what occurs in September as our Sept. callups often face other teams September callups. I just think Pettitte for one more year would be very helpful.

  • Todd

    I simply do not understand/agree with pouring resources into building up organizational pitching depth and not giving your young guys even a shred of hope in pitching for the big club (excluding injuries). Plus, there is not doubt in my mind that a combination of Aceves, Coke, Hughes, and Kennedy can replicate Pettitte or a guy like Penny.

    Speaking of Aceves, I know that I am in he minority, but I believe in this guy. While he is no Cy Young, what he did last year was incredible all the way through the majors. There were several teams looking to sign this guy when we got him. I am definitely not sleeping on this guy. And BTW, It seems like we are kicking butt in the Mexican prospect market.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      “I simply do not understand/agree with pouring resources into building up organizational pitching depth and not giving your young guys even a shred of hope in pitching for the big club (excluding injuries). Plus, there is not doubt in my mind that a combination of Aceves, Coke, Hughes, and Kennedy can replicate Pettitte or a guy like Penny.”

      Amen, brother.

      • Michael

        Paying a 5th starter $10MM is WAY too much, even Andy Pettitte. I’ll take my chances with 4 or 5 guys competing for the 5th spot, especially guys who are essentially too good to be stuck at AAA for another year or two.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I agree. We have the luxury of pitching the kids and seeing what they got. We could try to pitch them a lot on the road so if they struggle they’re not getting boo’d at the Stadium (I hate that but it’s a reality unfortunately). I think Aceves is good and I think has promise. I thihk Coke, Hughes and Kennedy have got to get some good, regular playing time.

      • Jay CT

        I also agree. It seems the Yankees continue to draft heavy on pitching, and continue to develop pitching, but don’t have a spot for them. As I said, if they cannot be a #5, it will be tough to be counted on as more then that.

    • monkeypants

      I agree entirely. Cripes, it’s the #5 starter. JUst let Hughes et al duke it out and worry about innings limits later. The #5 starter will only get around 30 starts anyway; if you limt Hughes (for sake of argument) to 5 innings per start, then innings will not be an issue. And if he stinks it up again, go to one of the other kids, or sign some lingering FA…or go back to Andy (if he’s still available).

      Really, there are so many options that the organization should not even consider budging with Andy at this moment.

      • Dustin

        Hughes will be limited to no more than 100 innings and Joba 130 in 2009–about 30 over their 2008 total (including majors and minors for Hughes).

    • JeffG

      I do not think signing Pettitte casts away hope that Phil or IPK will get their chance. Perhaps sensibly we should give them a little more seasoning down below so they are not rushed to figure their game out. I like the idea of having Pettitte for the depth and some padding for the eventual call-up which we all hope will come around with better success.

    • max

      Aceves reminds me of Freddy Garcia. We sign Pettitte and we will be be shackled by sympathy and nostaglia when he falters.

      We have to start developing talent in-house, and Hughes and Aceves look like they are ready to work their way into the pantheon. Hughes clearly needs to be brought along more slowly considering his injurie, but Aceves looks like he could be a steady horse… and he appears to be a humble person.

      …Which brings me to Kennedy his bad character and unwillingness to acknowledge his own shortcomings when he is tagged, make me believe you should trade him as soon as someone offers something that might offer a hint of value.

      Now that the signing bonanza is winding down, it is time for the Yankees to deal so they can stock the farm system so they can truly demonstrate a new developmental direction and have flexibility when the trade winds swirl.

  • Old Ranger

    Other then watching Aceves on TV, I have never seen him pitch. On TV he looks calm and cool under pressure, plus he seems to know what he is doing. If there is a competition for the last spot…he may surprise everyone. I think it is down to Phil and him. 27/09.

  • mike

    Jake Peavy. Trade Kennedy, Melky, Robertson and Romine for him.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt
    • Peter

      Peavy…come on now. Hughes, IPK, Aceves or Pettitte. I say go with the kids. Joba is gonna be great this year coming in as a starter at #4 and let the rest of them duke it out for #5. OUr rotation is gonna be awesome whatever goes down.

    • Dustin

      Are you joking? Peavy is highly unlikely to be traded to anyone, and even though the Yanks and Sox are the only two AL teams he’d agree to a trade to, he’d much prefer to stay on the West Coast and in the NL. And we should never give up Romine until he shows himself to be a hack in AAA; he hasn’t risen above A-level yet, and we need catching prospects more than just about anything.

  • Balls Deep

    Are we gonna be ok with Joba as 4th starter? Isn’t there a concern about innings? I still think he’s gonna need another one of those 1/2 year Pen and 1/2 year starter thing; when someone breaks down…

    Why I think Pettitte still is better than most out there, except Lowe. I’d love to have him for 3…Boston wants him; Pettitte won’t go to Sox. So another win/win like the Texeira signing.

    Just think we need an established starter for #4. Please see what happened this past year… as for 5th starter… I really like Aceves; went to one game he pitched, and saw him on TV enough… I kept thinking of the big Indian from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’; big, stone cold, calm Mexican Indian. His poise almost reminds me of El Duque. IPK will not make Opening Day Roster.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      Joba is on an innings limit, but he’ll be in the rotation the whole season. He’ll just get his start skipped once a month or so.

      Signing Lowe would be unintelligent. Getting him for three years would mean a rotation of
      CC
      Wang
      AJ
      Lowe
      Joba

      for three years…

      That completely blocks Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves, Coke this season and at least one of them in the future.

      The Yankees aren’t gonna sign any other FA pitchers, unless it’s Pettitte or someone to a one year deaal so Phil Franchise can be a full time starter come 2010.

      Signing a player to keep him away from Boston is silly. The Tex situation is much different considering the Yankees more or less needed a 1B more than they need another veteran starter for a long term deal.

  • TurnTwo

    i think that the 5th starter might be a guy who Cashman looks to target with the potnetial trade of Nady, Swisher, Matsui, etc…

    unloading that extra OF for a veteran arm with a bad-ish contract? could be what we see unfold in January if Pettitte declines the offer.

    • Dustin

      More than that we need a utility infielder or fielding prospects. Starting pitching just isn’t a need anymore; never thought I’d say that. But we have enough arms to plug in to the #4 and #5 spots to last the whole season. If someone catches fire, run with it. If he falters, bring someone else up. We have a ton of pitchers that we don’t know what to do with except waste them in the pen or squander their talent in the minors.

  • Ricky

    Sergio Mitre?

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

      Won’t be back until July at the earliest.

  • Skadoosh

    Think Mark Mulder would take a minor league deal?

    • Todd

      The problem with taking a flyer on a guy like Mulder is the Yanks already have too many guys in AAA/AA rotations. Where does he pitch and who does he replace @ AAA?

  • Balls Deep

    I don’t see them going that low; I think they would go with the kids before that; I think they would go FA or use some relievers/OFs in trade to get the arm. I would hope that KC would not value Greinke as much as they now do; they aren’t entertaining trade talks like they were after the season.

    • Reggie C.

      And KC shouldn’t. Greinke is a good bet to build on his ’08 success. He’s not coming cheap for anybody.

      • Jay CT

        Seriously. Why should they not value him?

  • yankees fan

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    search – IronPigs Stomp Yankees!

    • Balls Deep

      1300 fans? 1/3 a stadium… so they had better promotions… I guess if S/WB had 1 more McDonalds night they would have ‘crushed’ them there too…

  • Sean

    At the end of the day, the Yankees need pettitte just a s much as he needs the Yankees. The organization didnt spend all of this money to go into another season with any weak spots. Having a rotation with a kid in it instead of Pettitreally isnt an option. 2 of the 4 starters we have now were hurt last season, 1 of which will have an innings limit even if he is healthy the whole time….and then 1 of the other 2 is burnett…THAT is what the kids are for, stepping in and getting the job done when the GUARANTEED injury occurs. this is how the yankees have had their success in the past and will hopefully do so in the future.

  • Manimal

    YES, let one spot available for youngsters. ONE spot is good. Last year they left 2 spots open which was a bigggg mistake.

    • Balls Deep

      That’s how it should be… as stated above; both of the ‘kids’ spots from last year ended in injury, and there is some concern with Burnett… though I feel better after hearing Al Leiter talk about Burnett…That early in his career, he thought he needed to flame every pitch; and that was where his injuries came from… now he’s pitching rather than throwing; helped out by Roy Halliday.

  • Ryan S.

    I’d rather see Pettitte than Hughes/IPK/Aceves, but I’d rather see Hughes/IPK/Aceves more than just about anyone else on the market.

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      I really won’t mind Pettitte but at the same time, would the trio of Hughes/IPK/Aceves really do any worse than Pettitte did last year? I don’t think so.

      • JeffG

        Reminder: The duo of IPK Hughes did much worse than Pettitte did last year.
        Reasonably you could project Phil/Ian to have better results but on the same note you could extend that to Andy.

    • Manimal

      Aceves was pretty good last year and Hughes is preforming really well. IPK could still translate into a major league pitcher.

      Now, Pettitte isn’t getting any younger. He had to step up last year and be a solid number 2 starter in the second half and he failed with a 4.5 era.

      • Stephen

        Well, Pettitte didn’t have a great ERA last year, but his peripherals were pretty much in line with ’07. He had bad luck/ the Yankees defense was terrible last year.

  • http://nottheworstproblem godfather

    ideally, hughes…but practically, maybe aceves…andy’s coming back wouldn’t be a bad idea were he not to seek too much dough; coke looked as solid as could be in his stints…starting, though, is something else

    • Manimal

      Why make the argument about Hughes vs Aceves vs IPK when you could just let them fight over it in March. I agree though, Ideally Hughes would be the top choice and Aceves the long man out of the Pen. Coke should stay in the pen, hes a left with good stuff but I don’t think he is starter material.

  • Balls Deep

    Again, though, if no Pettitte; you have 2 kids in rotation again, and they broke down last year; and Joba will be innings restricted… what do you do then? Need an older arm for the #4 spot then take one of the kids for #5…rotate them in and out if they want to; but could be trouble again if they have both spots filled by Joba/IPK/Hughes/Coke/Giese/Aceves…

  • Timmy

    You think Cashman could get Garland on a 1 year contract if he offers a lot of money (12mil).

    • Timmy

      (12mil or so)

    • Joey H

      Garland is a terrible pitcher, he had pretty much one good year and if you want a right hander who will give you a 4+ era I would rather get it from a rookie than a guy at 12 mill a year.

  • Joey H

    How much do we think Penny would cost?

    • Jay CT

      I would rather have the proven lefty who doesn’t get hurt in Pettitte. I believe that I read Penny was expected to get around 8 million, but that was a while ago, and everyones prices have fallen.

  • Dominik

    Competition is great and all, but like Keith Law says, the Yanks have to restart Phil Hughes’s major league development. They should send all the youngsters into camp in a competition for the 5th slot, with the intention of giving Hughes every chance to win the job. They should promise it to him outright, but if he pitches reasonably well, he should get it.

  • Matt

    Off the subject, but anyone know when Tex is going to be formally introduced

    • Joey H

      Probably tuesday.

      • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Nah, the Yanks are closed for business until after the New Year. Tex still has to take a physical, so don’t expect a formal announcement and/or a press conference until athe week of Jan. 5th, the earliest.

      • Joey H

        sorry Tuesday is the 6th. Forgot.

  • Jay CT

    I have a random question. How long does the Type A stick. What I mean is, if a Type A free agent (like Sheets or Varitek for instance) goes unsigned into spring training or even the regular season, does a team still give up a draft pick if they sign them in May lets say?

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

      I believe it sticks until the player signs his next contract, which is theoretically forever. So if say, Ben Sheets doesn’t sign until after the 2009 Draft, the Brewers would get the comp picks in the 2010 draft.

      I think this is how it works, but let me confirm this.

      • Jay CT

        Thanks Mike. It seems that its something the union is going to want to alter. I know Keith Law wrote something on this, but it seems to severly hurt players ability to sign contracts, although many teams overvalue draft picks in my opinion.

  • Argenys

    I think whichever of the the following 2 doesnt make the opening day roster they should be traded: Aceves/Kennedy they are going to be wasted in the minors. There wont be a spot opening for them for at least 5 years unless We dont sign Wang to a long term deal. And baring any injuries they wont be able to contribute unless put in the bullpen.

    • Jay CT

      You aren’t going to land much for Aceves right now I don’t think. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to keep him in AAA or the pen as the long man. And IPK has pitched a very low amount of major league innings. I think he could be very serviceable and would not give up on him. I was very interested in trading him last winter when his value was high. Now, with his value lower, I don’t think its a smart move.

    • JeffG

      Last year we started with our rotation and ended up with Ponson, Rasner, and crew taking up plenty of innings. Nock on wood that we avoid injuries this year but I don’t remember too many seasons of late where we have not had to rely on depth… having strong options is a good thing.

  • Baseball Official Familiar With Yankees’ Plans

    I would like to see Hughes get the nod, with Aceves out of the pen in a long man role, and also spelling Joba in the absence of an off-day. IPK can then spell Hughes in turn, splitting time between ML & AAA.

    If a piece of that doesn’t work out, I say give Phil Coke a try.

    Andy does take a lot of the ’09 guess-work out of the equation, however.

    • TheLastClown

      Oh shut up, you’re a figment of my imagination.

  • Booch

    I think that not signing Pettitte would open us up to a lot of what happened last year when we put 40% of our rotation in the hands of no experience. I know Joba is an awesome starter but his durability is extremely questionable. Someone is bound to go out of the rotation this year, the odds got to be 10-1 that we will not have the 5 guys we start out with in the rotation for the full year. Sure I’d like to give Phil the spot and fill in (no pun intended) with Aceves and Coke, but its too risky.

    Sign Pettitte and get it over with. Save payroll by trading an outfielder. Max Kellerman made a good point that even though Matsui would be the obvious choice, the Yanks have a lot invested in him with their Japanese sponsorships. They risk losing a lot if they trade him away. He is still the most iconic Japense ball player out there

    • Balls Deep

      Agree! Need Pettitte or Lowe; then 1 kid… frees up next year especially if Pettitte where a few big name Starters go up for Free Agency…Webb and Hudson. Matsui is a big $$ draw. What would the 2nd Matsui at bat be without freakin’ Susyn Waldman talking about Benihana. Swisher/Nady/Damon(no trade clause) and a few relievers can make a nice ditch for another starter if can’t land Pettitte or Lowe.

      • Joey H

        How about Yu Darvish? His numbers speak for them selves.

        • Jay CT

          Which is why he wont get posted, thus, wont be coming to America for some time. He said that he wants to win like 250 games in Japan or something before coming to America

    • JeffG

      I’ve mentioned a great many times that Matsui pays for himself via marketing let alone production which I expect to pick up.
      I also agree that Andy provides depth at the right contract length to give the best arm from the farm a spot next year.

    • Jay in Raleigh

      If the top 60% of the rotation last year consisted of Sabathia, Burnett, and Wang, the bottom 40% wouldn’t have been as much of a problem. The problem with relying on Phil and IPK out of camp last year was (apart from injuries) that Wang was the only starter who should’ve been in the top 3/5 of an AL rotation. Mussina ended up having a throw-back type of year, but you couldn’t have expected that in April. At this stage Pettite is a #4 starter, at best.

      At some point, you have to give younger players opportunities. The top 3 starters are high-quality. Joba is at least a solid #4. Let the kids battle for the 5th spot. Paying a #5 starter $10M+ is borderline irresponsible. If not for the emotion involved with Pettite, this would be a one-sided conversation

  • ortforshort

    The most prudent approach is to sign Pettitte. Its guaranteed that over the course of the season, there will be minor league callups to fill starts. Burnett and Chamberlain haven’t shown much durability and even Wang and Pettitte got hurt last year, only Pettitte gutted it out and kept pitching because there were no viable replacements. If Hughes, Kennedy or Aceves performs well, they’ll eventually work their way into the rotation. If they don’t, then lucky thing we signed Pettitte.

    • JRVJ

      I would think Mussina gutted it out too….

  • Booch

    I must admit it is refreshing having an intelligent Yankee conversation without hearing from all the haters out there. I’m sticking to this site from now on.

    I’d hate to see the Yanks have to pull in another guy if its not Pettitte. I really think he is going to sign. Heck, if he puts up some decent numbers than the Yanks will do the right thing and give him a significant raise next year. What a luxury that would be. Hughes is the future but he is just not ready. They wont trade him or Kennedy just out of pride for not trading them for Santana.

    Wow, did the Yanks take a huge risk on that whole scenario. I said last year they should hold off on Santana and go for CC, but now that is done…what a gamble. They had to basically sacrifice a season to do it too.

    • JRVJ

      Well, suffice it to say that I think the Yanks expected more production from Phil and IPK than they got (and from Joba and Wang, too).

      Really, the biggest, most consistent bright spot in the Yankee rotation lat year was Mussina, and it’s a darn shame tht Moose wouldn’t hitch up for one last year…… (I’m not sure if the Yanks would have signed Burnett if Moose had rehitched, but if the 5th starter battle had been between Pettitte and Moose, I would have preferred Moose 1000 times).

      • Jay CT

        If anyone read “On the Black” by John Feinstein, Mussina pretty much said he was not coming back once his contract was up. It wasn’t much of a suprise, and I don’t think hes changing his mind.

  • LeftyLarry

    I would bring back Pettitte but it’s not my money.
    Pettitte had a bad second half because he wasn’t in tip top shape when he arrived at Spring training and had a tired shoulder, same deal with Bret Favre also.
    Older players can’t have off season issues that keep them from their normal routine.
    Hughes is 50/50 IMO.
    He has the make-up and control to be a winner but his STRAIGHT 91-2 MPH fastball looks very inviting.If the CUT fastball works out for him and we think it will, that should help and he has slid breaking stuff.
    If he picks up a few MPH on his fastball this season and has the cutter to add to his repertoire he could do very well.
    Andy means a lot to the team tohugh and is a great teamate.I’d rather he came back and won 15 games.THAt way if Jobba can’t stay healthy, we’re still O.K.

  • Balls Deep

    I think Moose’s last season was a dream season for him and don’t think he could come close to repeating it; he knew it; his best chance at the hall; no matter how much he might say he’s above it all…

    Pettitte would be great, if not, they need another… Darvish, I had read, will get posted next year… Saw an OTL piece on ESPN; looks as good as Dice K or better. But Yanks have had 0% luck with Japanese pitchers.

    Thing that sucks is; as a fan, I want it all to happen now, but I’m sure nothing will happen until after New Years and then some. Need to tell Andy “Mr. Sensitive” to make up his mind or move on. Don’t want to hear his BS again where he wants to be a Yankee, they make offer, but he didn’t feel loved or wanted.

  • MattG

    Two points I am really surprised no one made here:

    1. to all those that think Pettitte is a 200 inning work-horse–he’s one bad curveball away from TJ surgery. A big part of why he originally went to Houston were the medicals, and there’s been no positive developments there. He missed nearly his whole second year with the Astros, and I see him as a pretty big injury risk.

    2. Spring training stats and performance are completely meaningless. Any team that lets players fight it out for starting roles in March doesn’t understand the concept of sample size. Right this second, the Yankees should know whom they want as their fifth starter, and their March stats should be completely meaningless.

    I don’t expect Pettitte to be better or healthier than Philip Hughes in 2009, therefore I wouldn’t make him richer than Hughes. But, the Yankees better be ready to go 8-9 starters deep for 2009, which means Hughes, Kennedy, Aceves and Coke will probably all get starts, and there will likely be this year’s version of Ponson and Rasner, too. I would be offering minor league contracts to the Miltons and Zambranos of the world, but I wouldn’t be offering 8 figures to someone not likely to be one of my five best starters.

    • jb

      March stats should be meaningless, but March stuff/control should not be.

    • Booch

      Great points Matt, I would feel comfortable inking some more insurance like Milton. Pettitte just might be one bad curveball away, but he did say his elbow hadn’t felt that good for years last year.

  • http://6pound8ouncebabyjoba.blogspot.com Kevin

    There are more possibly productive veterans than just Penny. There’s Eric Milton, Victor Zambrano, Mark Prior and Bartolo Colon.

  • Matt M.

    i’d personally like to re-up with andy, but if that isnt an option how about we go with a rotation with hughes in there with kennedy aceves coke as fallback options.

    (maybe we’ll be lucky like the rays next year and have a healthy pitching staff all year) HIGHLY UNLIKELY.
    so if/when we find ourselves strapped for pitching, then we can woo andy and have him replace the likes of the ponson’s of the world.

    so instead of re-upping pettitte for 10-13 million now and locking him into the rotation. take your chances with the young kids, tell andy to have fun with his kids down in good ‘ol texas and keep working out and then mid year if the need should arise…then we come begging him a la roger clemens. pettitte’s big on sentimental value so i think if we come crawling to him midseason if we’re in that situation….he’d feel wanted again

  • GAZU

    TO ME THE JAPANESE UEHRA IS NOT IGAWA IS A VERY GOOD PITCHER TO TAKE A 5 SPOT ALONG WITH HUGES REMEMBER JOBA HAS TO PROVE DURABILITY,UNTIL HE PROVES THAT THE YANKS COULD TAKE A SHOT A EVERY FREE AGENT BELOW THE 10 MILLION DEAL OF PETITE.AND UERHA I THINK COMAND A DEAL IN THE 3 TO 5 MILLION TO ME IS A GOOD GAMBLE AND TO ME HE IS A GOOD PITCHER HE THROWS WITH JAPAN IN THE CLASSIC IGAWA NOT.SO NOT START TO COMPARE HIM WITH IGAWA.IS NOT INTERST ON HIM THEN TAKE A SHOOT WITH HUGES AND KENEDY

  • don from nutley

    My first post am i the only one that like joba pitching the 8th with mo closing instead of having him start. I think it makes us stronger. Sign andy and let the rest fight it out for the 5th spot

    • Jack

      How would that make us stronger?

      • Booch

        Not many people like him as a reliever. He proved last year that when he is in the rotation he is invaluable. The game against Beckett should have told everyone that and put the reliever talk to rest. It’s not very prudent to put one of your best pitchers to have 80 – 90 innings when you can have him start for 200 or in his case 140 to 160 (or whatever his cap will be this year)

        The Yanks season was over when they shut him down at the end of August.

    • Bruno

      You’ve made me embarrassed to be from Nutley. :(

      • don from nutley

        Bruno I’m guessing you’ve done plenty to be embarrassed about other then me liking Joba in the pen.

  • Don Mack

    MattG says:
    December 27th, 2008 at 10:20 pm
    Two points I am really surprised no one made here:
    1. to all those that think Pettitte is a 200 inning work-horse–he’s one bad curveball away from TJ surgery. A big part of why he originally went to Houston were the medicals, and there’s been no positive developments there. He missed nearly his whole second year with the Astros, and I see him as a pretty big injury risk.
    ——————————————————————
    And during those 204 innings, he gave up 233 hits. He was 2-7 in his last 11 with an ERA over 6.00 during those starts! And people on this board want him back? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?

    One baseball official said a team needs at least 7 or 8 starters to get through a season. We have that and more. C.C., A.J., Joba, Wang, Hughes, Aceves, Kennedy, and possibly Coke or even Dan Giese for a while. I am very high on Aceves. He looked very good on my tv set last season while I hated to see Pettitte pitch. He forever had runners on base. Paying out $10 million to a washed up #5 starter is retarded! We don’t need Pettitte.

  • currambayankees

    I say if Andy doesn’t reup give Hughes another shot. I think a healthy Hughes will surprise many of the nah sayers on this and other boards. The kid was one of the top pitching prospects for a reason so his deserves his ops.

  • swedski

    Here’s an idea. Leave Hughes and Kennedy one more year in AAA (unless something spectacular happens) and if Petite doesn’t sign, sign Pavano for 2 mill and incentives. He’s gotta prove something to make any kind of money in the future so give it a try then start out with CC Wang AJ Pavano/Petite and Aceves. You could also sign Petite and pavano and let Yankee Idol go after 3 months if he doesn’t pan out.

  • JeffG

    Another reason I think we should sign Pettitte is that it puts less pressure on Joba. If Hughes, Aceves or Kennedy botch their starts it will make it much harder to skip over Joba’s starts in the five slot. He obviously has an innings limitation and hopefully this year we’ll be able to manage that better with Andy in the rotation.
    Plus I imagine if/when playoff time comes around Joba will be coming out of the pen. It would serve us well if a proven playoff veteran takes the ball at the back of the rotation. Phil has the makeup for the postseason and did do a good job in his one playoff showing but Andy is stronger choice in my opinion.

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    Why can we not have a 4/5 slot as a 3 headed monster. Rotate Joba/and the best of the rest in Spring Training. It will provide the rookies with more rest and they can develop on the major league roster with the Aces.

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    The ‘sign Pettitte’ to start is good, but maybe it is a blessing if he remains in limbo until the All Star break, comes in fresh and joins the team for the playoff push. If we got someone like that last year even with all the injuries, we may have made it to the playoffs.

  • Un-Named Yankee Source

    With this economy, I wonder how many reclaimation pitchers we could get on the cheap, stick in the minors and see what happens.

  • Rich L.

    Why is everyone so intent on tradin Matsui? If he’s healthy he drives in 100 runs and hits .300 every year. With Giambi and Abreu gone he’s the perfect #5 hitter.
    Plus he hits in the clutch. He’s in the last year of his contract and recovering from a knee injury so he’s not going to bring anything back in a trade. I thin the Yankees will end up being glad if they don’t trade him.

  • ortforshort

    I see Joba as the heir apparent to Rivera if his arm holds up starting. Joba reminds me a lot of Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. Same bulldog toughness. Similar all-out violent delivery. Gossage was also a starter, who had starters stuff, but was converted to the bullpen. That didn’t seem like too much of a mistake. Right now, I would put Joba where the need is – he’s exceptional either way. I’m one of the ones that thinks he’ll hurt himself throwing a lot of innings and would rather see him in the pen.

    • Booch

      Not a bad idea, but Goose would pitch 3 or 4 innings in relief. The game didn’t change to its current set-up closer config until La Russa changed it in the late 80’s. While Goose still only pitched around a 100 innings in his hayday, he still had to give max effort for probably 40 to 50 pitches a game.

      I think they should leave him as a starter and when Mo retires consider him for the closer role then. He has a full repetoire and can start. Goose was a fastball slider guy and that was it.

  • Doug

    I say Pettite #4 and Hughes #5 and put Jaba in the Pen. This cuts down on CC, Burnetts arm. They only have to get to the 6th or 7th and game over.