Jul
14

Pondering the addition of a veteran starter

By

There’s some thought throughout the Yankees Empire that the team would do well to add a veteran starter before the July 31 trade deadline. With injuries and question marks after the top two arms, there’s no doubt the Yankees could explore the option. Chien-Ming Wang is out for who knows how long, and he’s no guarantee to perform upon his return. Andy Pettitte has been shelled quite often. Joba Chamberlain has hit a bump or six in the road. Phil Hughes has apparently been relegated to bullpen duty for the rest of the season. If none of these conditions improve, then the Yanks could certainly benefit from another proven starter.

Problem is, they don’t have much time to decide. Only a few weeks remain between now and the deadline, and deals normally don’t happen overnight (you’ll remember with the Bobby Abreu trade that the two sides talked all month, with the Phillies demanding Phil Hughes, but they eventually settled just before the deadline). For now they’ll likely go with Sergio Mitre, but there’s no reason to believe that he’ll provide any real relief. He could pull a Small/Chacon, but that’s as long a shot as it was with those two. Most likely, he’ll be a better mop-up man than Brett Tomko and little more.

On August 1, I don’t think the Yankees rotation will look any different than it does right now. I don’t think they’ll add a starter, not because they don’t think they need one, but because there are so few available who represent a surefire upgrade. Guys like Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee will command a hefty package of prospects, and both will be free agents after the 2010 season. While either would recement the Yankees rotation, it’s doubtful the front office will pony up the steep price.

There are other names out there, though their availabilities are uncertain. Still, it’s interesting to ponder what direction the Yankees might take. Moshe Mandel at The Yankee Universe (the blog, not the fan club) runs down a few additional names. There are a few interesting ones, including Aaron Harang, Gil Meche, and Jarrod Washburn.

Normally I’d advocate Harang here, but it appears his woes from last season have carried over. His strikeouts are still down and his hits are up, even from last season. He makes $11 million this year, $12.5 million next, and has a $12.75 million option for 2011 with a $2 million buyout. Will the Yankees be willing to add this much payroll? Perhaps, but not for Harang, who just doesn’t seem to be the pitcher he was two years ago. He would, though, add to the Yankees collection of pretty freaking big starters — he stands six feet, seven inches tall.

Gil Meche battled injuries throughout his tenure in Seattle, but after signing a five-year, $55 million deal he’s led the league in games started in each season — including this one. Things haven’t been perfect in this campaign. His walks are up significantly and his ERA is up at 4.50. He’s also a bit of an injury concern at this point. He battled lower back pain in Spring Training, and he recently left his start against the Red Sox with back spasms. “A couple hours after I pitch, it’s real stiff,” Meche said, perhaps implying that this is not an isolated incident. Still, Meche has a high upside. He’s owed $24 million combined in 2010 and 2011, and the Royals seem to be going nowhere fast. It’s still doubtful the Yankees take on his salary.

As for the other names:

Bannister? The Yanks would be better off with what they have in-house.
Washburn? Half-year rental, though he could come cheap. He’s having a good season, but he was also having a good season at this point last year, and that turned around pretty quickly.
Bedard? Too much, plus there’s the whole narrative of him being too shy to play in a big market.
Arroyo? We like balls to stay in the park, please.
Doug Davis? His 3.41 ERA is nice, but it’s the NL West. Plus, he walks way too many guys.

Looking at all the names above, I just don’t think there’s a deal out there which the Yankees would be willing to make. They’d have to add significant payroll for players who aren’t our likely won’t be worth their salaries. Plus, they’ll have to part with prospects, and good ones at that. While the Yankees might do well to explore the addition of a veteran starter, it’s easier said than done. Would you want to add any of these guys?

Categories : Pitching

142 Comments»

  1. Cashman’s MO is to go under the radar, and he’ll get someone that none of us even think is available.

  2. Chris P. says:

    Do you guys think that it would be possible to lower the Blue Jays demands if the Yanks agree to take on either Wells or Rios? Maybe only one of Hughes/Joba/Montero instead of two or three? Would that be worth considering?

    • Yankees would likely only trade one out of that group anyway. Trading more than just one hughes/joba/montero is likely too steep a price.

      • Mike bk says:

        talk is Toronto wants 3A prospects, 1B, 1C? i agree 2 of those is too steep but that is the reality of what it would take and if i was JP i wouldnt settle for less and i would make whatever team wants Halladay take Wells so he can rebuild. With Hill, Lind, Rios and all that saved money plus the big prospects rebuilding shouldnt be that hard. I would look at the cards if i was him.

        Rasmus, Wallace, Anderson gives him a new CF, future 3B and catcher. maybe a pitcher or 2. If toronto is sold on Arencibia, then go for higher upside arms but im not familiar enough with the cards pitchers to name any.

        • Chris says:

          The talk out of Minnesota was they wanted 2 top-notch prospects for Santana. They ended up getting none. If that’s what Toronto says they want, then they will most likely settle for less (still more than Minny though).

          • Mikebk says:

            and santana was getting paid the minute a deal was done where halladay has another year and a half on his deal. the better comparison is with the bedard or haren deals cause there was no immediate need for HUGE money.

            • Chris says:

              My point was not that Minnesota got less for Santana than the Jays want for Halladay. My point was that the Twins got (much) less for Santana than they initially said they wanted – which is generally the case in all of these trade negotiations.

    • Dela G says:

      dude have you seen wells’ contract? that thing is the WORST CONTRACT EVER for a center fielder that has a career batting avg under .290

      i quote:

      “Wells is due $5.6 million next season [2007] in the final year of his old contract. The extension calls for a $25.5 million signing bonus, payable in three $8.5 million installments each March 1 in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He will receive a salary of just $500,000 in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2009, but his salary jumps to $12.5 million in 2010 and $23 million in 2011. Wells receives $21 million in each of the final three seasons.”

      no thanks

    • Reggie C. says:

      Riccardi shouldn’t be looking to dump Rios yet. He’s young and could still turn it around. His contract runs till 2014, so he’s overvalued like HELL, but he’s now in his prime and the contract is still HALF of what’s owed Wells. Riccardi shouldn’t sell on Rios yet.

      THere’s simply no way Cashman is willing to take on Wells’ albatross of a contract. He’s on the wrong side of 30 and the decline is evident. Wells is going nowhere.

      • Chris P. says:

        Oh of course the contract is awful. It was awful before the ink on the contract signed and it’s even worse now. But if the Jays agreed to pay for….. let’s say 40% of the contract, I think it really might be worth it. Hahaha, but of course, it’s worth it to me, i’m not paying the bills

        I’m just giddy about a rotation with both CC and Halladay. We really just wouldn’t lose a short series haha.

        • Reggie C. says:

          I’d want Cashman to avoid Wells like the plague and not even acknowledge his existence in any talks with Riccardi.

          Lets see what kind of traction Cashman gets from a Joba, Jackson, Romine, and Ramiro Pena package.

          - this package has been mentioned before by a RAB poster. dont know who exactly, but i just to acknowledge that its not my invention.

          • Thomas A. Anderson says:

            That is probably the one deal that Cashman would be willing to do for Halladay. Joba has insane upside, but Phil seems like he is the one the team would rather keep at this point, if push came to shove.

            If the Jays would take that deal, I would think long and hard about doing it if I were Cash.

    • RollingWave says:

      it’s not my money, but if we assume that Vernon Wells play like say.. Melky Cabrera so far this year for the next 5 year (which would be a gigantic improvement over what he’s doing now) his worth in negative fair market value roughly = Roy Halladays fair market value over the next .5 year.

      If he plays like this for the next 5 year? please give us two Roy Halladay.

    • A.D. says:

      A. All reports have the Blue Jays not wanting to do this.

      B. The point of shedding one of those contracts is to sign Halladay after next year, which defeats the purpose

      C. Vernon Wells contract is terrible, even if he produces how he did before, since he’s naturally going to deteriorate with age.

      D. The Yankees are trying to shed some of the vet contracts, and already have a ton of money dedicated to Posada, Mo, A-Rod, Jeter, CC, Burnett, Tex.

  3. Tony says:

    Take a page from the rest of Major League Baseball and hold the cards for a while. They don’t need to add anything to make the playoffs.

  4. Moshe Mandel says:

    Thanks for the plug Joe. I like Harang, but I’m pretty sure they will want Romine and a lefty arm in a deal, which may be much considering the factors you mentioned. The more I look at it, Washburn may be the best fit. Management in Seattle seems reasonable, and they probably will realize that they are not a championship club and sell. Washburn should not cost a ton, and will at worst be a LAIM. If the Yankees feel they need that kind of guy, he may be the best option.

  5. Reggie C. says:

    We can scratch off Cliff Lee and Eric Bedard. It’ll be interesting to see what package Cashman makes for Riccardi to ponder and ultimately pass on. I think Cash will at least make some sort of play, but whether its a serious play … i think unlikely.

    I like Gil Meche. He’s lived up to his contract , but its what-have-you-done-lately season and Meche could be playing more hurt than what he’s let on. Its a risk but he’d be a solid addition if his health checked out. If the brass is secretly writing Wang off for the season, and they want an arm to contribute down the stretch, then make a play for Meche and have the Royals pick up some cash. I’d want our docs to give him a clean bill of health first.

    I’d want ‘pen help as priority, but if a trade for a highly valued reliever (Wuertz, Valverde) is comparable to a healthy Meche … give me Meche.

    • I keep thinking you’re Reegie Corona…

    • but if a trade for a highly valued reliever (Wuertz, Valverde) is comparable to a healthy Meche … give me Meche.

      Really? But Meche is harder to shoehorn into our rotation going forward as Joba and Hughes progress. Do you not think Wang is ever coming back? Or do you plan on leaving Hughes in the rotation permanently?

      What I’m asking is, if we acquire Meche now, what happens in 2010?

      • matthaggs says:

        Um…who cares?

        Having too many starting pitchers is never, ever, ever a problem.

        Especially when two of them are kids and one of them has spent the last two years hurt and/or sucking.

        The Yanks need all the arms they can get their hands on.

  6. yankeefan91 Arod fan says:

    If the Yankees Wanna win a championship this year they need Halladay hes a proven ace u slot him in this rotation ull have the best rotation and im dying to win a championship its been a long time.Phil,joba and Montero are the only ones i wouldnt deal so if the yankees have to take some of rios contract ill be okay with it so cashman make sumtin happen here.

    • Charlie says:

      have fun with getting halladay without giving up phil, joba, and montero. not gonna happen. taking on rios contract isn’t a bad thing IMO, he’d fill a corner outfield spot next year. But we’d have to give up a ton for halladay and rios which isn’t really a great idea.

  7. Drew says:

    Why don’t we delve into our farm team in Pittsburgh? Maybe I’m reaching but.. Maholm? Snell will come cheaper but both will probably benefit from playing on a professional team. It’s sketchy and it’s possible that neither are reasonable as they do not provide a “sure thing.” On the other hand, does Washburn/Harang/Meche provide to be a “sure thing”?

  8. Charlie says:

    i like meche, although the back injury makes that a little more risky. harang is really not that great and would get rocked in the AL east. overall, as i’ve said before the best way to upgrade our rotation right now is to put hughes in the 5 spot

  9. John Lannon- might want to play for a team that can win. Plus the nats are baseball illiterate.

    Shawn Chacon

  10. Little Bill says:

    Absolutely not. There’s no need to deplete the farm system when you already have the answer on your team- Phil Hughes.

  11. Hank says:

    this team is never gonna win. Just package Melky, Cervelli, Kennedy and Igawa for roy halladay and alex rios and his contract. they need halladay to win the world series, cause their rotation sucks now. get it done, cashman.

    • TCCM

      *This comment confuses me

      • Salty Buggah says:

        I’m guessing it was sarcasm, not sure though

        • That’s one thing. I too think it was sarcasm, but I’m not 100% sure, but just the message in general confuses me.

          He has perfect punctuation but only uses capital lettters every once in a while. I don’t know if the name Hank is an ode to little Stein or if his name is really Hank. Is it a really well thought out piece of satire or am I reading way too much into a non-sensical comment. Why am I awake?

          Do you see my confusion? :(

          • Hank says:

            you’re onto something. its sarcasm. and the hank thing was for steinbrenner, too. i see a decent amount of these type of ridiculous comments and just felt like impersonating some retard thinking these kinds of deals can actually be made.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            Yea I see. In one way, he could be an angry irrational fan that thinks the Yankees really suck. On the other hand, he could be making fun of dumb trade ideas by suggesting a stupid trade. It’s a bit of both and confusing. It’s like one of those poems that sound all happy on the surface but down deeper they are sad, very very very sad.

      • Bam Bam Balboni says:

        this comment actually made me put down my bong and put it away for good.

    • Chris P. says:

      There’s really no way that would every be enough to get Halladay. For so many reasons. Since I can’t sleep I’ll name a few.

      1. Halladay and Rios are the two best players involved in the trade. So they’d be trading better players for worse players, in the division.

      2. If the Jays want to shed Rios’s salary, why would they want to add Igawa’s?

      3. Melky isn’t that good. He’s OK. But that’s about it.

      4. Cervelli’s ceiling is a backup catcher with a strong arm.

      5. Kennedy had an aneurysm this year which could have killed him, he hasn’t pitched since and might never pitch again.

      All in all I’d say the Jays would ask for more

      • Hank says:

        the jays would ask for wayy more. it was just a joke. i would shit myself in joy if the yanks could make that kind of deal.

  12. Salty Buggah says:

    “For now they’ll likely go with Sergio Mitre, but there’s no reason to believe that he’ll provide any real relief”

    Duh, he won’t at first as he would be starting. But as you said, he’ll probably be a better mop-up man than Tomko, so he WOULD be providing relief. ;)

    • andrew says:

      i think tomko, cervelli, and igawa could get us joe mauer. i mean cervelli is uber good so twins could get a replacement plus their bullpen is thin so it gives them bullpen pieces. with mauer catching, posada can dh, so we can trade matsui. matsui could potentially land us carlos marmol of the cubs. the cubs lack a power-hitting left handed batter and we lack a shutdown 8th inning guy not named phil hughes. finally bump joba from the rotation to the pen as our 7th inning guy and call up mitre to replace wang, therefore our rotation is cc, burnett, aceves, mitre, pettitte. and our pen would be hughes 6th inning, joba 7th, marmol 8th, and mo 9th. game over. even if our starters fail the bullpen will be so uber pwnage that it wont matter.

      this plan is so perfect its retarded.

  13. Bo says:

    If they take Wells’ contract and put him in CF they can get Halladay and not for the huge bounty of prospects people have been discussing.

  14. nick blasioli says:

    well, anyway we look at it..we need a starting pitcher…we really dont have an ace…pettite and joba look like long relievers at best..we need a stopper of some sort…i like washburn as the best pitcher for us…also,,we need a quality reliever…if the yankees are going to win,,they have to go all out to do it…right now,boston and the angels (whom we cant beat)have better pitchers than the yankees do.. if we dont want to win this year,,sit on their hands and do nothing…

  15. Frank Fernandez says:

    Get Washburn. This rotation has crumbled and it won’t win anything for us this year.

    • A) Is Washburn really available? The Mariners are in the thick of the AL West race.
      B) How much are you willing to give up for a few months of Washburn? If Jack Zduriencik says “I want Zach McAllister and Austin Romine”, is that a yes?

      • Frank Fernandez says:

        For me it is, because we still have Montero to catch in the future (yes, he’s going to catch), not to mention Cervelli. You rationalize it as ZMac straight up for Washburn because it’s hard to fit Romine into the future, which is a go. You still have Hughes, Joba and you haven’t given up Montero or Betances.

        I think your first question is the key. The M’s proved difficult to deal with last year re. Washburn, so it remains to be seen if they will be any easier this time around.

        • Tom Zig says:

          If we were willing to eat all of Washburn’s salary and send them Igawa in return, but eat his salary too, would they do it?

  16. RollingWave says:

    Look, again, people need to realize, if Wells bounce back significantly. he is worth about the same in the negative terrotory as Roy Halladay is worth in the positive territory. if he plays like what he is . he is worth as twice or 3 times as much as Roy Halladay … in the negative territory.

    If we’re trading for Wells + Halladay, the only guy you should give is someone that is completely worthless (like say… Edurdo Nunez or Kei Igawa) or someone who has upsides but has a extremely low probability (like Andrew Brackman)

    for those that need some math to back this up. check fangraphs post on Halladay last week, which estimated Halladay’s fair market value as 40M (essentially saying that he’s worth about 10 win in the next 1.5 YEAR , a win is about 5M and his owed around 20M, + the value of the picks. )

    by the same math logic, Vernon Wells is owed about 110M in the next 5.5 year. but he is playing at a -2 win pace this year. and has been under 2 win for the last 3 season. if we assume that he isn’t going back to the 3-5 win guy in his hay day. then he’s worth very little. if he’s a 2 win guy that means he’s a negative 50M fair market guy! that’s just reallllly bad. and that’s already a bounce back!

    Sure, it’s not just about the bang for the buck, but the bang , period, but Wells contract would seriously hinder the extra bangs going foward. like our LF next year, or actually extending Roy Halladay.

    • but Wells contract would seriously hinder the extra bangs going foward. like our LF next year, or actually extending Roy Halladay.

      Yup. Remember the last two years of the Giambi contract, where he was kinda “meh” as a player but his gigantic 20M salary kept us from signing/trading for an upgrade?

      Imagine 5 more years of old, “meh” Jason Giambi and his mammoth contract.

      • RollingWave says:

        Giambi in his 3 20M years averaged around 2.3 WAR per year. if we assume Wells play at his current rate for the rest of the year. his 3 year WAR average would be … ummm, exactly 0.

        WOW.

  17. To sum up:

    There are two types of options. Options like Halladay, Lee, Harang and Bedard who will cost a pantsload (and have some injury concerns), and options like Washburn, Meche, Bannister, Arroyo, and Davis who would be cheaper (but would still cost at least one player of good value) and may not even be better options that our primary in house option of Phil Hughes.

    Smartest move is still to just do what we should have done the moment CMW hit the DL, which is use our designated 6th starter.

    • Reggie C. says:

      Our primary in-house option has an innings caps to contend with and an uncertain 2009 role on this team as either reliever or AAA starter. I doubt the Yanks let Hughes regain his endurance over multiple starts. Pondering the addition of a veteran starter is looking just as important as a Hughes-substitute for the ‘pen.

      IMO, it wouldnt hurt to take a look at Meche’s medicals. Find out if he’s hurting. Meche has lived up to his contract and its just a couple more seasons. Perhaps the Royals can eat $8MM of the remaining monies owed.

      • Our primary in-house option has an innings caps to contend with

        Not anymore, the month and a half he’s already spent in the bullpen has rendered his innings cap moot. He can spend the rest of 2009 in the rotation, including the playoffs, ant not need to be shut down. Best case scenario for him is now hitting 180 on the nose by starting all the way through the World Series.

        and an uncertain 2009 role on this team as either reliever or AAA starter.

        That’s circular. It’s only uncertain because we’re choosing to make it uncertain.

        I doubt the Yanks let Hughes regain his endurance over multiple starts.

        I’m not sure that any other option makes more sense.

        Pondering the addition of a veteran starter is looking just as important as a Hughes-substitute for the ‘pen.

        Only if we choose to think about it inflexibly. Trading for a bullpen option allows us to kill two birds with one stone. And, it helps the team more going forward into 2010 and beyond, because we have a greater need for quality relievers (when you look at our depth charts).

        • JackC says:

          I can’t see a scenario in which they move Hughes out of the bullpen this season, short of Bruney undergoing bionic surgery during the ASB. The notion that an 8th inning reliever isn’t as valuable as a starter is treated more or less as a given on RAB, but the the fact is Cashman and the Yankee brass don’t feel as certain about this.

          Personally, I’d love for them to get a great reliever and move Hughes back to the rotation, but I’d be shocked, given how Girardi’s talked about Hughes’ value out of the pen, if they’re willing to muck around with that.

  18. AndrewYF says:

    Cliff Lee is the answer. Trust me.

  19. MattG says:

    Is Paul Byrd still planning on playing half a season? I imagine he’s signed somewhere, or retired by now. Or injured his eye with a cocktail umbrella.

  20. miketotheg says:

    I think this is a great opportunity to start calling guys up willie nillie and see what they can do. Can’t be worse than having a pitcher with 1 win and a 9.64 ERA in 9 starts AND we are still in second place in the division.

    Just sayin.

  21. E-ROC says:

    Just put Phil Hughes in the rotation. Though I would like for him to gain arm strength in minors, which would mean Sergio Mitre spot starts whenever there is an opening. Once Hughes gains his arm strength, slide Mitre to the bullpen.

    • BklynJT says:

      I think its a great idea to bring up Mitre from the minors. We’ve seen it before. Starters with good stuff become shut down relievers, so I’m hoping Mitre become a good reliever and we can move Hughes out of that role. One thing I don’t want, is to take out Hughes from the critical bullpen role until we have someone who can replace him. Remember, we can’t be sure that Hughes success in pen will translate into that in the rotation and I don’t want to take that risk unless we have a replacement in the bullpen. Minus Hughes and Aceves from our pen, and all we have is Mo, and a guy who can only get our lefties. They definitely need reinforcements before they even consider moving Hughes.

      • Minus Hughes and Aceves from our pen, and all we have is Mo, and a guy who can only get our lefties.

        Wait, why is Aceves still not in the pen?

        If we’re stretching out Hughes to start and using Mitre as the bridge to Hughes, Aceves isn’t needed as the 5th starter. He can open the second half in the bullpen.

        Rotation: CC-AJ-Joba-Andy-Mitre
        Pen: Mo-Aceves-Coke-Bruney-Robertson-Tomko-Albaladejo (or Melancon)

        That’s a perfectly acceptable pitching staff for two weeks while we stretch Hughes out. He’ll be ready July 31st, at the latest.

      • Oh, and:

        “all we have is Mo, and a guy who can only get our lefties

        Phil Coke vs. LHB – 80 PA’s, .192/.213/.425 (.637), 14 H, 3 BB, 22 K, 7 XBH, 31 TB
        Phil Coke vs. RHB – 72 PA’s, .200/.324/.333 (.657), 12 H, 11 BB, 9 K, 6 XBH, 20 TB

        I think you’re selling Coke short a bit. He seems to walk righties a lot more and strike them out a lot less, but righties don’t hit him hard (only one of the 6 homers he’s given up was against a righty) and he gets them out at a decent clip.

  22. Oh, and, for those who support a Halladay trade, you have some agreement. Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton both think the Yankees “have to” make that trade.

    The trade they felt the Yankees just “have to” make? Halladay and Wells for Joba, Hughes, and Melky. If the Jays also wanted Cano or Damon, or both, worked in there in some permutation, that’s fine also.

  23. Todd Zolecki, Phillies beat writer, just said he expects the Phillies to deal for Halladay.

    Package would probably include Kyle Drabek and J.A. Happ.

  24. MattG says:

    I don’t think the Yankees really need any more pitching. Pettitte and Chamberlain are in funks. Andy will come out of his this year, as its just a slump. Joba looks to me to need rest.

    I’d consider giving Joba some time off (tired arm–15 day DL), and get Aceves and Hughes in the rotation, working Wang back in the bullpen. I realize that leaves teh 8th inn!ng undermanned, but I would think there are plenty of arms that are internal to tryout in that spot, and cheaper options for filling it externally.

    • +1.

      (But, if I can get Michael Wuertz or Brad Ziegler for, say, Melky Cabrera and Zack Kroenke, I do it.)

    • BklynJT says:

      Without Hughes and Aceves in the bullpen, our bullpen consist of Mo, a guy who can only get out lefties, and a bunch of walk machines. Hughes’ arm isn’t built up enough to be a starter, and that we could potentially lose a couple games just taking him out of his role without a suitable replacement. I say we bring in Mitre and/or Ivan and let me take a crack at the rotation, and possibly transition them to the bullpen as ready Hughes to be a starter again. I think it would be a huge mistake moving Hughes out of the pen unless we have someone who can be somewhat as efficient as he was.

      • Aceves is going back in the pen.

        In every scenario. I’m not sure where you’re getting this doomsday scenario you speak of.

        • BklynJT says:

          I don’t see what doomsday scenario you are referring to. I’m just pointing out the fact that our bullpen isn’t that great without Aceves and Hughes, especially when you are forced to move other relievers up in the pecking order.

          Let’s not live in a rose colored world and think that Hughes is a guaranteed lock to be better than Joba and Pettitte is right now in the rotation. If we want to move Hughes out of the pen, which I am not against, we better have a suitable replacement. It makes no sense to weaken a strong point of your team to potentially provide the same results you can already get with Joba and Pettitte.

          If you look, I was responding to the post that stated moving Joba to 15 day dl and having Hughes and Aceves in the rotation…

          • If you look, I was responding to the post that stated moving Joba to 15 day dl and having Hughes and Aceves in the rotation…

            Sorry, you’re right, I’m wrong.

            MY scenario, though, not MattG’s, is to not DL Joba. It only concerns the 5th starter hole caused by Wang’s absence. In all of my Hughes roster permutations, the back end of the bullpen is firmly Mo-Aceves-Coke-Bruney, which is a good foursome.

            I do advocate, however, for trading for a bullpen arm.

            • BklynJT says:

              I really don’t trust Bruney at all. There is definitely something wrong with him at this point, but hopefully he can figure things out soon. If we were to move Hughes back to the rotation, I would like to see one of the AAA starters, like Mitre come up and see what they can do out of the pen. I like the idea of converting starters to relievers, more specifically starters that probably have no place in the Yankees future rotation, and we have plenty of those on hand currently (Mitre, Nova).

      • “Hughes’ arm isn’t built up enough to be a starter”

        I’ll ask the same question I did yesterday: based on what? Do you know how his arm feels? Do you have studies showing that you cannot start games, then move to the bullpen, then back to the rotation without getting injured?

        It’s a generalization. Generalizations like this also said that Mark Prior had perfect mechanics.

        • BklynJT says:

          Based on the fact that Girardi said that Hughes’ pitch count wasn’t high enough to make the start spot instead of Wang, thus using Aceves instead, who’se arm also wasn’t built up enough but could go up to 65 pitches.

          Do you have studies showing that you cannot start games, then move to the bullpen, then back to the rotation without getting injured?

          It’s a generalization. Generalizations like this also said that Mark Prior had perfect mechanics

          Not once did I try to make that point.

          • Again, I think Girardi is generalizing. You can’t just say that a guy’s arm isn’t built up enough without having actual evidence to back you up.

            • BklynJT says:

              So, if you were the manager of the Yankees, would you take the risk of moving Hughes back to the rotation and have him throw 100 pitches if he had never thrown more than 20 pitches in the last ~3 weeks? Cause moving him back just to throw 40 pitches the first time out would be counter productive.

              I think it was a retarded move by Girardi to have Aceves make that spot starting knowing that he would not allow Aceves to give more than 65 pitches. Are we going to make the same mistake twice by “easing” Hughes back into the rotation. (Granted it may work out better this time around since we have Aceves to back him up, but that still puts a unnecessary burden on the bullpen)

              • I think this is a pitching coach thing. The pitching coach should know each of his guys well enough to know when he’s tiring. Throw him out there, and when he starts tiring. It’s the same idea as pitch count, where pitch count is a general demarcation of when pitchers will tire. I still think the pitching coach should be able to recognize the warning signs.

                To address the second part, I would think if you’re going to ease him back, it’s gotta be in the minors. Which is why I’ve come to trips with Hughes in the bullpen for the rest of the year.

      • matthaggs says:

        The reason there is all this fuss about a fifth starter is because the third and fourth starters have been horrible lately. If Joba and Pettitte were dong their jobs, heck if one of the two was doing his job, this would not be such a big deal.

        And because Joba and Pettitte are both not doing their jobs and both are not likely going anywhere, the bullpen has to be as strong as possible. Hughes and Aceves need to stay put. Roll the dice on Mitre, hope Wang comes back, and hope at least one of Pettitte/Joba turns things around.

        There is no suitable Hughes replacement in the bullpen on the Yankee roster at the moment. Same with Aceves. Al’s departure from the bullpen and the three game losing streak occurred simultaneously. There are other potential fifth starters who might be able to do as well as Hughes – who has at least as many bad starts as good ones up here.

        I’m sure Hughes will eventually be a good starter, but putting him in the rotation now would just put more of a strain on the pen, and Hughes wouldn’t be there anymore to help.

  25. A.D. says:

    I would rather first try:

    Hughes
    Mitre
    Nova
    Aceves

    In the starting rotation before going and either blowing the farm on someone or giving up some prospects for a vet starter that probably won’t be that good.

  26. JC says:

    If it’s going to be anyone from that group, it has to be Washburn. He’s a durable lefty having a good season. Is a proven winner against AL East teams. His contract is up at the end of the season and wont block our rotation.

    Personally, I think they do nothing. Have a feeling they’ll give Mitre a try. Everyone seems to forget the great lefty specialist we have had hurt all season MARTE. He will be back some time after the break. Switch him out with Hughes, Have Mitre pitch a few games, send Hughes down to stretch out. Hughes/Wand back in the rotation for the final push and finish off the year with a Mo, Coke, Marte, Robertson, Bruney, Mop up Mitre bullpen. NO?

  27. Mac says:

    For this year, why does anyone believe Hughes is going to be able to be a quality starter? He’s still got 2 pitches primarily and when you look at his 7 starts he pretty much did what Joba has done.

    I don’t really care if they get Halladay or not, what I can’t fathom though is why anyone believes a back end rotation of this version of Joba, Pettitte and Mitre (or Hughes, Nova, etc) is enough for the Yanks to make the playoffs.

    As for the pen, yes its possible it could be effective without Hughes primarily depending on who the Yanks are playing, but I’d rather watch a guy dominate 2 or 3 times every 5 games than watch him turn in a 5 ip 3 run performance.

    Tough to try and develop promising youing arms in a divison with the Sox and Rays – and really above average offense from the other two teams as well.

  28. Mac says:

    Another related question, Rios is owed 59.7 million with his buyout in 2015. What would JP take for just him – he’s a credible replacement for Damon or Swisher (this year or next).

    I’m trying to figure out what relieving the Jays of that committment is also worth in a Doc deal.

    Wells is owed 98.5 mil – its obvious the Jays would want to move him first, but I don’t think the Yanks would even take a part of that.

    I also disagree that the Jays don’t value a payroll reduction in the form of Wells or Rios if they deal Doc – I think the Rays want to rebuild and payroll relief is their primary goal.

  29. Billy Shears says:

    I’d just blow my load for Dan Haren. He is signed through ’12 with a good contract and has an option for ’13. And, since we’d be trading with the NL West, the odds of the prospects you give up coming back to really hurt you is less.

    • ledavidisrael says:

      Amen

    • AndrewYF says:

      Arizona has absolutely no reason to trade Haren for anything less than what the Blue Jays are demanding for Halladay.

      You would be willing to part with Hughes, Jackson AND Montero for Haren? For a pitcher who is likely to have an ERA in the high 3s in the AL East? Haren’s a very good pitcher to be sure, but he’s not worth that to the Yankees.

      • Mac says:

        You say high 3′s like that’s a bad thing – plus his last season with Oakland it was 3.07 and he’s on pace to pitch his 5th season in a row of 200+ innings.

        The thing that strikes me about many here is how optimistic many are about the futures of guys like Montero, A-Jax and even Hughes (who as a starter showed the same difficulties – 2 pitches, straight fb mostly around 91-93).

        Haren in 07 had one start against the Sox 7.2 ip 2 runs and was 1-2 vs the Angels but with a 1.38 era in 26 ip.

        He’s owed 37 mil over the next 3 – Yanks could do alot worse than him.

      • Billy Shears says:

        Hughes, Jackson and Montero? I could probably live with that to have a rotation of: CC, Haren, Burnett, Pettitte, Chamberlain for this year and a rotation of CC, Haren, Burnett, Joba, and whomever for the next few years. I also believe that the Dbacks have Eric Byrnes on a terrible contract, maybe if they agreed to take him and his salary it would lessen the load of prospects that the Yankees would have to give up.

        If you told me that I had to give up Hughes, Montero, Jackson and Melancon for Haren or Halladay, I’d pick Haren for 3 reasons.

        1. Haren is younger
        2. Haren is already on a reasonable contract
        3. If Hughes, Montero, and Jackson somehow become greatness, at least they would be in the NL.

  30. Steve S says:

    See the problem I have with all of this is and especially with how they are handling Hughes, is that it appears that they are clueless with their player development because they can never just stick with a plan.

    - I had no problem with using Hughes in the bullpen while Wang was figuring things out and Hughes was being used for multiple innings.

    - I had a bit of an issue with Hughes being used as a short reliever when Wang started to put forth some representative efforts but I understood the temptation to use him in that capacity since they had five starters, were already relying on Joba for one spot and Phil was just so good and seemed to be gaining confidence (which I understand can help with his development, I dont know if it helps more than throwing 160 innings this year but I could deal with it.)

    - NOW, I can’t possibly understand why we would be discussing Sergio Mitre, Washburn, random Pirates starters or whomever else, when both the short term and long term answer is staring them in the face. I have to say its time someone in the media calls Cashman to task on this. This Hughes thing makes absolutely no sense in light of what the organization said regarding Joba. To me it demonstrates a lack of a commitment to a long term goal. And it also demonstrates that they do not have a clear program with respect to developing young pitchers. Its fly by the seat of your pants stuff. I said this two years ago, I hope Cashman has the balls to stick with his plan and the more time goes by, it really appears that he doesn’t. Especially if they consider moving these guys for Roy Halladay.

    • Mac says:

      I’m always skeptical with prospects, much less starters – I had no problem with the Yanks putting Joba and Hughes in the pen, mostly b\c I believe the Yanks are a win now team.

      Having said that, I agree that its very disturbing that the Yanks seem to make it up as it goes along – i.e. abandoning the plan.

      It does make sense to me, and its something I’d do b\c I don;t believe that Hughes or Joba are locks to be even #3 starters – but the fact that Cash and Co have done what they have done, makes me also think that they are trying to serve two masters – neither of them well – win now and build for the future.

      • Steve S says:

        Hughes and Joba have gone beyond prospects now. They are major league contributors at this point. And regardless of the ridiculous expectations, they are valuable major elague contributors. I think Joba has already established himself as a viable number three starter. He is capable of dominating at times, he mixes in a bad start here or there and then sometimes he is just serviceable (ie- the 6 inning 3-4 run starts). Hughes has shown enough that on most teams not named Red Sox, he would be the 4 or 5 starter. And he is at this point the 4th or 5th best starting pitcher in this organization. It takes time to turn into an ace, I wont list through the names, but most dominant starters need time to develop into ace starters but what makes them valuable at age 23 (like Phil and Joba) is that they can do the same job that a Jarod Washburn can do and every once in a while they can be brilliant (Hughes against Texas and Joba against Cleveland).

        They can be a win now and build for the future team but you have to remain consistent in your approach. If you weren’t willing to move these guys two years ago for a 28 year old Santana, you cant now decide its time to get a 32 year old Halladay. And when Hughes has demonstrated he can get outs and you have a gaping hole in the rotation you dont leave him in as the 8th inning guy right after you told everyone that Joba is more valuable as a starter then as the 8th inning guy.

        • Mac says:

          Couldn’t disagree more about Joba as a “viable” anything at this point. He’s killed the pen, and one of the reasons his era is still respectable is the Yanks take him out before he really implodes – which usually coincides with him reaching 100 pitches.

          I think Joba is either physically hurt, lost something from his injury and can’t get it back (so far) or mentally messed up from his personal life\pressure. He’s not the same guy and I don’t think his struggles are not b\c he’s not trying or an egotist or out of shape. SO its not a blame game.

          I’m not saying Hughes and Joba won’t become good or even better than good pitchers, but neither of them pitched a full season in AAA so we have no idea if the league would have adjusted to them.

          Hughes (to me) is in the pen b\c of need and just as important, b\c he wasn’t effective as a starter.

          If the Yanks could find another veteran #5 starter, that would be as good or better than what Hughes and Joba have shown in the rotation this year – and I mean just this year, not saying what Hughes and Joba will become in the future.

          My concern with Hughes to the rotation this year is his FB will decline a few mph and he still only has that and his curve – don’t think he’s ready and I’m not sure he ever is a starter – I don’t think he has starter stuff.

          There’s worse things than becoming Joe Nathan

          • Steve S says:

            We agree with the need for development for both. And I do think Hughes has the stuff to be a starter, he just needs to learn how to command it better which is something that is often done on the ML level.

            Here are Joba’s road home splits. He is 4-0 on the road (8 starts) with a 3.26 ERA and he is averaging approximately 6 innings per start. At home is 0-2 (9 starts) with a 5.35 ERA and averaging under 5 innings a start. Normally thats what you would call an abbe-ration or the guy is a bit of a head case and is either to hyped at home or he is bat shy and nibbling too much.

            And I really disagree that there is a plethora of these so called number 5 guys available who could do what Joba and Hughes have done (and judging Hughes at this stage is really unfair). To me that just shows an unrealistic expectation of what a middle to back end starter is. They are middle to back end starters because they are inconsistent, I mean thats typically the definition of middle to back end starter. That is in essence what Andy Pettitte has been the last two years and its arguable whether he has been better than Joba or Hughes as a starter. And the 100 pitch mark is not exclusive to Joba. Not many guys go beyond 100 pitches if they are struggling. It would be one thing if they took Joba out at 65 pitches but 100 is usually the barrier for most guys when they cant find the strikezone.

            • Mac says:

              Hard to look at his away stats in total – his last four road stats included his best game to date at Cleveland and Atlanta but two sub 5 inning starts at Tex and LAA.

              He also had two of those wins by May 10th.

              He’s 8-18 in “quality” starts – people like to mock the idea of Arroyo, but he’s a second half pitcher and he’ll eat innings – maybe he’s done, but a guy like him or Washburn, or hopefully someone who isn’t on the radar is going to be a better candidate this year (unless Joba suddenly finds himself).

              With Hughes, I was never that impressed – great curve that he throws two different speeds, but a FB that is relatively straight and he tries to nibble the o\s corner.

              That doesn’t mean that maybe Hughes was hurt and now is recovered and has more confidence and will grow as a starter.

              Pettitte has been bad – since 2nd half last year – I love him, but I think he’s done and that’s part of the problem (WHIP and baa are virtually same as Joba)
              - too many guys killing the pen. Andy needs to go elsewhere next year opening a spot for Hughes or Joba.

              As for the 100 pitch count – no arguement – my only point was Joba gets pulled early mostly b\c he’s maxed the count, but they won’t let him take his lumps either – if they did, his era would be higher

              • Steve S says:

                The last comment with respect to Joba is really an unfair analysis. Would it be better if Joba were simply getting rocked on his first 50 pitches, as opposed to struggling through a 100 and keeping the team in the game. Now, I’m not saying that its a sign a if him being a great starter but I dont think its fair to imply that he hasnt gotten rocked because the Yankees pull him. He hasnt pitched that well but at the same time he hasnt gotten rocked.

                And as for looking at his away starts as a whole, if we do a start by start analysis that means that there was a stretch of five starts this year where Johan Santana deserved to be in the minor leagues. I understand what your trying to say, but the Cleveland start counts and this is the kind of inconsistency you typically deal with with young starters. He is allowed to have a couple of bad starts in a row and you need to be patient or else you will never see the fruits of the development. And to me your allowed to extract bad performances as signs as poor indicators (which you have done with Phi) but I don’t understand what precludes me from taking what they have done well (i.e. Cleveland and Texas) as positive indicators.

  31. JC says:

    For everyone wanting the Yanks to pick up Wells contract with Haladay, IT IS NOT HAPPENING. We would then be in the same boat as Toronto. Unable to lockup Halladay long term. We would then have way too many huge contracts with declining players to be able to afford to do that to our team. Yes, we are the Yankees, but you can not lock up every position for years with guys over 30 making 25MM a year. You can not win that way.

    • Mac says:

      The Yanks aren’t going to take alot of Wells deal not b\c they can’t afford it (they can) they are going to avoid him b\c Wells is most likely done (wonder what the GM’s in mlb really know about Wells’ decline?)

  32. Mister Delaware says:

    I’d take on Rios in a salary dump for a mid-level prospect, Halladay or no Halladay. Major improvement from Melky/Gardner (or atleast should be once all is said and done) and he falls into Matsui’s salary slot going forward with the bonus of a ton of positional flexibility. If someone could just get him out of that ridiculous, seemingly power sapping batting stance, he could actually be as awesome as he should be.

  33. Jon Copop says:

    The Yankees should go get Ian Snell. He’s cheap, He’s still young, he’s been on a tear in AAA and he’s a Pirate. We like Pirates don’t we?

  34. Mac says:

    Joba not getting rocked is not really a ringing endorsement, the Santana comp is not really a good one since he’s established himself as a top starter.

    You can def point to Clev or Texas and say, hey this shows that these guys may be productive starters – but if the Yanks are trying to win this year, I don’t think they can have the necessary patience to let these guys learn on the job – this year.

    I def agree, most guys need a few years in a rotation to really see who they are – prob is Yanks need consistency (actually they need quality as well) if they want to make the playoffs and hopefully have a real shot at winning a title – I don’t think Hughes or Joba can (or should be expected to) give them that this year – unless its in the pen.

    The other huge issue is the Yanks are old and this might be the best chance they have to win another title – even if Hughes and Joba both become top starters in a few years, the only position players that might not be in decline (or gone by then) are Tex and Cano.

    A few years back (before they resigned A-Rod) I was hoping against hope the Yanks would rebuild – I saw the aftermath of the 81 season and watched the futility of chasing bad free agents, not understanding how to build a rotation and the hype of so many prospects that never panned out.

    I think its very possible Joba and Hughes could be stalwarts for many years – I have alot of questions on both but I also realize they could get hurt, exposed – and that hold doubly so for guys like A-Jax and Montero and really everyone else in the farm.

    And that’s the big ? – what should the Yanks do?

    • Steve S says:

      There is absolutely no reason why they cant go with Joba and Phil and not contend for this year. Im tired of hearing that rebuilding and contending are mutually exclusive for the Yankees. That is just not the case. And I just dont understand what your expectations are with respect to a number 3 starter. I never said that not getting rocked is not an endorsement, what I did say is that you shouldnt imply that he hasnt been rocked simply because the Yankees pull him after 100 pitches. Thats a poor argument and makes no sense. What should Girardi do? Allow him to go to 120 to really find out if he can give up some runs?

      I have to say I dont understand your conception or ideal rotation. I mean look at Josh Beckett, the guy has mixed good years with dominant years but he is no doubt a top end starter (ERA+ alternating between low 110 area one year and as high as 150 in another year). And he has had atrocious stretches where he has been anything but consistent. he is still becoming a better pitcher (which is scary).

      And again the consistency should come from CC, AJ and Wang, the veterans and the alleged top end guys. Okay Wang is hurt, then it shouldnt be an issue to lean on CC and AJ. And I really disagree that they could learn anything from being in the bullpen year round. Thats a cop out, its obvious that these guys could dominate for an inning, they need to learn how to do it every 5 days for six innings, and they are almost there. Go around the league, check out the number three starters. You tell me how many of them are better than Joba. Of course youll find a couple but really how many guys. Its not that many.

      And of course the Santana comment doesn’t apply, it hyperbole. But I will say this, so long as this team makes the playoffs, it has as good of a shot as any to win. And of course Halladay makes you better immediately but if your talking World Series…then I will gladly roll the dice with Joba and his upside (and Phil) then on Jarod Washburn or Gil Meche.

      And by the way enough with hearkening back to 1981, the 80′s were bad but it was 88-92 that was awful and you know what things like that are going to happen and if that is the bottom, Ill take that every time.

      They have a team that can win now and they have a team that has a nice young nucleus. I’m not even going to say Montero or Jackson. As presently constituted they have a 29 year old ace, they have a 29 year old stud first baseman, the have a 26 year old stud 2b who is going to be here for a while and they have some nice role players in Gardner and Melky who are both in their mid to early twenties. You cant expect the Yankees to be a team of twenty year olds. And if the aging guys on my team are Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, I’ll take my chances they can hold up and be contributors for the next three to five years.

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