Grading the Yanks’ veteran pitching acquisitions


This offseason was like many others for the Yanks, who brought in a pair of veteran starting pitchers like so many times before. The Baseball Crank took a look at all of the veteran pitchers the Yanks have picked up each offseason dating all the way back to 1975, and concludes basically what you’d expect: sometimes they’ve struck gold, and other times they haven’t (to put it nicely). The highlight for me was being reminded of just how great Jimmy Key was for the Bombers, even though he never seems to get any credit. Make sure you check it out, lots of interesting stuff in there. (h/t Pinto)

Categories : Asides


  1. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    The REAL #22, and the only jersey I own.

    LOVED watching Jimmy Key pitch. One of my all time faves to this day.

  2. Mike Pop says:

    Jimmy Key? What’s he like 45?

  3. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Now that you’ve reminded me about Britt Burns, Doyle Alexander, and trading Doug Drabek for Rich Rhoden, I won’t sleep all night.

  4. Nady Nation says:

    Ah the good ol’ days of Black Jack McDowell. I was at the game where he flipped everyone off walking off the mound. The back page of the Post’s headline the next day was naturally “Jack-Ass!”

  5. Pete says:

    Melido Perez? An A+ …?

    … seriously?

    • Meh, in 1992 and 1994 he was pretty good. And all we game up for him was Steve Sax, he was decent but not outstanding. Plus, Sax was bound to get in trouble with the law at some point once the cops were able to pin that unsolved murder on him…

    • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

      You’re right. He never pitched a full season after his brilliant first year, and was paid 4.6 mil for 1996 when he didn’t pitch at all. I doubt the Yankee front office would rate that an A+.

      Here’s his explanation

      “I used established performance levels in reverse, weighting the first season at 3, the second season at 2, and the third season at 1. I had considered doing a less front-loaded weighting, but given that (1) the Yankees are almost always in win-now mode, (2) so many of these guys were gone after one or two years and (3) the quality of the first season usually determined how long they would last with the team, I’m comfortable with a weighting heavily tilted towards the first year.”

      So the guys who had big first years get overrated. Looked at as a whole, Melido wasn’t an A+ decision. The trade was pretty good, though.

      “January 10, 1992: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Domingo Jean and Bob Wickman to the New York Yankees for Steve Sax.”

      Sax was shot and Wickman became a solid reliever for the Yanks.

      • Pete says:

        And Wickman got us Graeme Lloyd. :)

        • Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

          Yeah, I would have rather have kept Wickman.

        • And Graeme Lloyd got us Roger Clemens.

          So the Melido Perez trade was clearly an A+++.

          (It would have been an A++++, but I had to deduct a plus for the fact that crazy-ass Roger has a guy rub hot sauce on his balls for him.

          • steve (different one) says:

            plus Lloyd came out swinging in that game where Armando Benitez hit Tino in the back…


            see if you can pick out the 6’7″ Australian…

          • Heh, I was playing around with B-R and noticed this chain of events:

            The Yankees signed amateur free agent pitching prospect Rafael Medina out of Panama in 1992. (Probably because we’d been scouting Panama City for a while and found Mo there two years earlier, but I digest.)

            We then traded him, along with fellow IFA Ruben “Glovestealer” Rivera to San Diego to get Hideki Irabu on the eve of the 1997 season.

            The Padres flipped him (along with Derrek Lee) after the season to the Marlins for… 1997 World Champion Kevin Brown, who we beat in that 1998 World Series. Brown parlayed those back-to-back good postseason showings in ’97 and ’98 into a fat 7-year free agent contract with the Dodgers.

            Meanwhile, when we soured on Irabu after the ’99 season, we sent him to the Expos, who were desperate for a quality ML starter, for prospect Jake Westbrook and two players to be named later. Those two players turned out to be prospects Christian Parker and Ted Lilly. Like Irabu earlier, we eventually became enamored of a new flamethrowing pitcher named Jeff Weaver, so we traded Lilly and draft picks John-Ford Griffin and Jason Arnold in a three team deal to get Weaver.

            And of course, when Weaver bombed out, we traded him (and prospects Yhency Brazoban and Brandon Weeden) to the Dodgers for… Kevin Brown.

  6. Artist formerly known as 'The' Steve says:

    Anyone remember the secret to Wickman’s sinking fastball?

  7. Rob says:

    What’s the story for why Key left? Did they think he wouldn’t stay healthy?

  8. iamthewalrus says:

    JK had maritial probs.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.