The obligatory “Injured Pitchers” post

Prospect Profile: Evan Rutckyj
The RAB Radio Show: December 15, 2010

With Cliff Lee officially a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees are left trying to salvage their offseason by spreading their money around and shoring up several aspects of their team. There simply aren’t any other high-end starters on the market to go after. The process started with the now completed Russell Martin signing, and today Joel Sherman reported the Yanks will “try to pluck a veteran starter with good stuff but questionable health (off the free agent market) and have him pitch as long and as hard as he can, basically until his arm blows up or a better option comes along.

Those kinds of pitchers are always plentiful on the free agent market, and they’re popular targets in the blogosphere because we dream of them being healthy and returning to what they once were. With Lee off the market and not in New York, it’s inevitable that we’ll have to look at some of these guys as potential targets, so let’s get it out of the way now. I’m going to do something a little different though, instead of actively campaigning for one or two players I’m just going to state the facts and let you decide who’s worth the gamble. Talk about ’em in the comments…

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Jeff Francis

Francis is kind of the exception here because he isn’t actually coming off an injury. After missing the entire 2009 season due to shoulder surgery, the 29-year-old lefty did manage to make 19 starts (and one relief appearance) while pitching to a 3.88 FIP in 104.1 innings for the Rockies in 2010. His ERA was ugly (5.00), but we all know that isn’t the best way to judge performance. Francis is a generic soft-tossing command lefty, spotting a fastball, changeup, and curveball on the corners of the plate. He misses just enough bats (8.4% swing-and-miss rate, 5.8 K/9 since 2008) and doesn’t walk many guys (2.6 BB/9 career, removing intentional walks), and he also gets a pretty nice amount of ground balls (~45% over the last few years) as well. Francis’ margin for error is small, but the track record is there.

Brad Penny

The one-time Red Sox whipping boy made nine highly effective starts (3.40 ERA, 1.1 fWAR) for the Cardinals this year before a shoulder strain ended his season. Penny is a known quantity at this point; he’s struck out a touch more than five-and-a-half batters per nine innings over the last four seasons (~7% swings-and-misses) despite having the stuff to do more, and his walk rate has been below three per nine in five of the last seven years. Penny has always been a ground ball guy but took it to the extreme in St. Louis last year (52.8%), completely unsurprisingly given Dave Duncan’s track record. Like Francis, Penny does have World Series experience, and he did not have surgery for his injury, which is always a plus.

Chien-Ming Wang

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Ah yes, our old friend. Wang, now 30, was last an effective pitcher in June of 2008, when he infamously injured his foot running the bases in Houston. Surgery to repair damage to the capsule in his shoulder followed, and he was unable to reach the bigs for the Nationals in 2010 despite proclamations from his agent. Everyone reading this knows the deal with the Wanger, so I don’t need to get into the specifics. Extreme sinkerballer, lots of weak contact, won’t strike anyone out. Seen it, lived it, got a t-shirt.

Brandon Webb

Webb is the big name of the group, the former Cy Young Award winner than racked up 19.9 fWAR from 2006-2008, the second most in baseball. Now 31, Webb hasn’t pitched in what amounts to two seasons due to labrum damage, and reports out of Instructional League a few weeks ago had him sitting the low-80’s with his once devastating sinker (18.1% fly balls in his career, completely ridiculous). There’s a belief that those reports are overblown in an effort to keep his price down, however. We really don’t know what Webb is capable of right now; I don’t think he can rebound and be the beast (3.23 FIP from ’06-’08, again behind only CC) he once was. If he’s 60% of that guy though, it’d be an upgrade to the back of the Yankees’ rotation. For what it’s worth, Joel Sherman reported today that the Yankees “don’t like him all that much.”

Uh, where's the ball? (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Chris Young

Young is a rather unique pitcher, relying on extreme deception and size (dude’s 6-foot-10) rather than pure stuff. He missed all but four starts in 2010 due to a shoulder strain, and when he did pitch he averaged just five innings per start with a 3.88 FIP. His always pedestrian fastball dipped into the mid-80’s over the last two years, but he’s so big and hides the ball so well that it looks like he’s releasing the ball ten feet away from the batter. That’s how he’s managed an above average swing-and-miss rate (9.4%) and generally avoided getting clobbered. Young certainly benefited from Petco Park in San Diego, owning a 53% fly ball rate for his career, far and the away the highest in baseball during that time. His margin for error is microscopic these days.

* * *

Remember, these players are looking for one thing: an opportunity. Well, that and money, we can’t forget that. Those five guys are trying to reestablish their value, so they’ll join the team that gives them the best chance to accrue innings and prove they’re healthy and productive so they can go back out on the market next year and cash in. If that means a year with the Nats or Pirates, so be it. Don’t expect the Yanks to be able to sign two or three of them either, the more there are, the less of an opportunity they’ll have.

So which one is your preferred target? Any other that weren’t covered here?

Prospect Profile: Evan Rutckyj
The RAB Radio Show: December 15, 2010
  • Steve H

    If I had to take one I’d take Webb, knowing that there is almost no chance he returns to form. The rest of the guys were never as good as Webb was, so even if they get back to “as good as possible”, they are not great pitchers.

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      I agree that Webb is the most intriguing option, I guess there is not much left with him.

      If I had to sign one of the above to a major league contract, it would be Francis, though. Lefty, groundballs, low FIP? Sounds acceptable to me.

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        Must concur with your assessment. Francis = Moose to combat heavily dominated Left swingers (Boston). Wanger is finished. Penny in the AL East, please no. Chris Young will deceive no one in the AL. Webb knows how to pitch but can he last till July and hit 89/90 on his fastball.

    • jay drillings

      I’d go with Penny, he had the least amount of serious injuries to deal with and he had a year with Duncan. He’s also buddies with AJ from the Marlin days.

  • the tenth inning stretch

    Is “none of the above” an acceptable vote? If I had to choose one, I’d say Francis, since he’s always been a soft-tosser and so therefore has probably lost the least to injury.

  • LGY


    • the Other Steve S.

      Anybody got Mussina’s phone number?

      • Daniel


  • Chris

    You forgot Mark Prior.

    Seriously, I’d take any of them on a minor league deal and none of them withe a guaranteed major league contract.

    • Laurs

      This. Give them the opportunity on a minor league deal.

    • J.R.

      Really? I feel like I’d take Webb, Francis and Penny over Mitre or Nova.

  • kosmo

    Well they´re all low risk high reward.
    Chris Young has had difficulty staying injury-free but look at his hits per nine over his career.
    I´d give him a shot.

  • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    Uh, where’s the ball?

    Cropped out of the photo, perhaps? =P

    On topic: I like Chris Young, always have despite what the numbers may or may not say. I also think that Brackman will need a buddy to play hoops with on off-days and stuff.

  • AJ

    I’d take a risk on Brad Penny. It’s always nice to have a new hot Yankee wife in the system.

    • Daniel

      fair point my friend. props to swisher as well

      • ryan

        his girl’s new show is actually pretty funny

    • Mike Axisa

      She’s no Jamie Kotsay.

    • Kiersten

      I don’t wanna hear anyone complain when bexy and I drool over C.J. Wilson next season.

      • seimiya

        hey, i want to get in on the CJ Wilson drooling too.

  • Rey22

    …Pedro Martinez?


    • Rey22

      I guess he doesn’t qualify as injured. More like half-retired.

  • AJ

    Also, it’s unfortunate the Yanks didn’t get Rich Harden. The A’s signed him for less than 2M with incentives.

    • Mike Axisa

      He signed as a reliever though, at least the guys above can (theoretically) start.

    • kosmo

      Once upon a time Harden was hitting 96-97 mph on his fastball last I heard his velocity is down around 90-92 mph.

      • whozat

        he’s also been allergic to the strike zone for several years. We’ve all seen how that movie ends, and it’s not pretty.

  • alex

    What is Erik bedard’s status relative to these guys? I guess I would otherwise go with Webb and his superior trackrecord

    • Mike Axisa

      He already re-signed with the Mariners.

  • Daniel

    what about jake peavy? or ben sheets?

    • Mike Axisa

      Sheets is going to be out until August-ish after Tommy John surgery. Jake Peavy’s not a free agent.

  • Clay Bellinger

    It’s hard to accept that it’s come to this, but it is what it is. Of this awful list, I’d prob go with Penny since he’s had the most recent success.

    What’s Justin Duchscherer up to?

    • Mike Axisa

      Ah crap, Justin Duchscherer would have been a good one for the post.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Never foget J-Douche!

      • Clay Bellinger

        Add em in! Can I get a shout-out? haha.

        Really though, if he were included I guess I’d choose him. I know the Sox were recently interested. He only tossed a few starts last year, but he was pretty good and he’s been good in the AL. I remember him getting hurt last year, but I can’t recall what the actual injury was so I’m not sure of his health status or when he’ll be ready to go though.

      • Steve H

        If you include Duchsherer all of the WebMD’s are going to come out of the woodwork and diagnose his mental state.

        • Clay Bellinger

          Ughh you’re right! Enough of that.

        • bexarama


          Honestly though, Duscherer has said he hates the Yankees in the past, though…

        • JFH

          don’t you mean Web PhDs?

        • Zack

          I think we do that right after we’re done diagnosing the shoulders of Webb and CMW.

      • Bernard

        I agree, add him in – I think he might be the most interesting of the lot. He’s, of course, always hurt but when he pitches he’s fantastic (3.13 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 7 fWAR in 454.2 IP entirely in the AL). I also think because of his low career IP and his relatively low notoriety considering his skill set, he might be attainable on a deal similar to Prior’s. He only got $1.75 mil last year and certainly seems in line for a significant decrease from that.
        Also wouldn’t mind seeing a Jon Lieber/Octavio Dotel-style 2 year incentive heavy offer to Sheets. Let the Yankees rehab him and see if he can provide some value in 2012.

    • Steve H

      Brad Penny is well over 300 lbs right now. I wouldn’t give him a dime guaranteed.

      • Clay Bellinger

        Oh I wouldn’t wanna guarantee $ to any of these guys either, but given the choice I’d pick Penny.

  • Daniel

    Bonderman? though i dont hink he is hurt…

    • Daniel

      and john maine….

      • Clay Bellinger

        I assume that Mike didn’t include them just because it’s really hard to imagine the Yanks considering them. It’s been awhile since either guy was good. Bonderman was even hurt last year either, he was just bad. I see where you’re going though.

        • Clay Bellinger


          • Daniel

            didnt john maine have an awesome start last year? if not i must be thinking of pelfrey. Those two stand out to me because they both still youngish.

            • Clay Bellinger

              That was Pelfrey.

            • Daniel

              by those 2 im refering to maine and bonderman

  • pat

    Bartolo Colon!

    • jamie

      wow talk about somebody who’s career fell off a cliff! Remember that game ARod took him deep 3 times? Twice, I can understand, shiz happens, but 3 times? I couldn’t believe he threw him another fastball!

    • seimiya

      Apparently he’s in, um “the best shape of his life” in winter ball.

  • anon

    Any chance we can ‘Betemit’ Kenny Willams again for Buehrle?

    • Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Not for that contract.

      • theyankeewarrior

        If they think Buehrle is going to perform, I wouldn’t mind paying him 2/30. I think he’s still got two effective years in him, and there isn’t much else on the market over the next two seasons.

        Maybe the Sox would chip in 5-10 M if they liked our package?

  • AJ

    While we’re throwing ridiculous names out there, I heard Jose Canseco still wants to DH in the big leagues. Just kidding.

    • AJ

      Well actually I’M just kidding but he isn’t.

  • James A

    Duchscherer is the one guy not on this list who could also make sense, although he really has only had one effective season as a starter in the league, and even that was only 141.2 innings. He’s pretty good at missing bats and keeping the ball on the ground, but who knows if he could do it still given all the time hes missed. It’s hard to find reports on his health (he had hip problems like Martin) but he could be worth a flier

  • Chris

    I’d pick up a couple of these guys at low $, like Francis and CMW (he’s at least the devil you know)…

    • RL

      My picks as well. CMW on a minor league deal, if nobody offers him a ML deal.

  • T-Dubs

    If I’m looking for lightning to strike, I take Webb. For actual usefulness, I’d take Francis. Let him take ~100 innings off the arms of the youngsters and put him in the big league rotation if he shows he can get out AAA hitters.

    • Steve H

      I agree, but I’d guess Francis will get a better offer elsewhere.

      • T-Dubs

        I imagine any MiL deal given to these guys would Moseley-esque opt outs if they’re not on the big league roster by…June 1st? Something like that.

        I wonder if the general consensus that the Yanks treat their AAA players well benefits them at all.

  • the Other Steve S.

    Wilbur Wood

  • Daniel

    Wang could be worth it…he would cost nothing… yet I feel like the yanks saw his decline coming, and knew something we didnt/dont know bc thatis the only arbitration case cashman has really taken on

    • Stan the Man

      By the time Wang was up for arbitration he had already missed half a season with a foot injury and was coming off shoulder surgery so he wasn’t going to pay him not to play. Wang’s shoulder injury is less severe than Webb’s so for a minor league contract he would certainly be worth it.

      The Yanks know what Wang can do when healthy and a year removed from surgery he would more than likely be able to pitch at some point and again would cost practically nothing for them once again.

      • jamie

        does Wang have his old velocity? if not, we’re essentially talking about Brad Penny, right?

        • RL

          Penny less about 150 lbs. :-)

          • Thomas

            Well a 300 lb Wang would be very intimidating.

            • Nickel

              I laughed out loud at this for reasons that are so wrong.

            • Dale Mohorcic

              As well as being quite unwieldy.

  • Vinny Scafuto

    Assuming money’s not an issue and he takes a minor league deal and doesn’t clog up a 40 man spot, I’d go with Wanger, for no other reason than it’s pretty lousy what happened to him. I’d like to see him make it all the way back.

    • Daniel

      no assumpton needed lol, we have 23mill burning a hole in our pocket.

    • Colombo

      “Pretty lousy what happened to him”?

      He’s a pitcher who got hurt and then hurt again. Yeah, the yanks rushed him back a little, but that’s all part of the dangers of being a pro athlete.

      • Vinny Scafuto

        I mean in terms of how he was injured, and what the injury was. That’s just some serious bad luck.

  • James A

    Just saw that AJ Burnett is either getting divorced or in the process of moving towards a divorce, and his wife was described as being “spiteful” and “vindictive.” That could explain the black eye, and possibly some of the struggles last year. Obviously he wasn’t Mr. Consistency to start with, but going through something like that wouldn’t help. Hopefully if it’s true he’s able to move on from it quickly and maybe get a little more focused on baseball…

    • Daniel

      explains why girardi has been on close contact with him…if thats the source of the black eye.. well… sorry AJ that shitty

    • Hughesus Christo

      We need to start selling this to free agents:

      When your wife divorces you, you will be a New York Yankee IN NEW YORK CITY.

      • Daniel

        and jeter can get you laid with the snap of a finger…if you 86 mil doesnt do the job

        • Esteban

          Money is the only thing you need in NYC.


        • Jorge

          And Alex will be banging them from behind mid-season. Hope you don’t mind.

          • dalelama

            The free agents or the girlfriends? LOL

    • seimiya

      Cowherd made this up. Darek Braunecker (his agent) said it was totally false. Sorry.

  • J

    You know there is an AL RHP who would likely be available in a salary dump. In the last year of his contract, hes struggled with injury the past two years but had two 5-WAR seasons in 07-08. Gets a decent amount of GBs (42% career, but would be higher but for his early seasons) and limits the homeruns (1.1 HR/9 career, but again a lot of that is due to his early years). And plus I saw him dominate the Sox on opening day a few years ago.

    • A guy

      does this guy have a name?

      • Clay Bellinger

        He’s talking about Gil Meche.

      • Carcillo

        Gil Meche?

        • J

          Yeah, Meche. Sorry for taking so long but I was in my Torts final…

  • Plank

    I think the best move would be to do nothing until the trade deadline. They could go with Pettitte (hopefully) and Nova or Nova and someone from the scrapheap until the trading deadline. They would have a massive amount of money to be able to take on so they could probably get a better option that way without giving up much.

    The question should be reframed from ‘which of these pitchers should they get’ to ‘should they get one of these pitchers’.

    • Daniel

      youre contradicting yourself. “do nothing” and use someone from the “scrapheap” contradict. this whole thread is about the scrapheap no?

      • Plank

        I was thinking more like a AAAA pitcher like Moseley as coming from the scrap heap. The guys above are more reclamation projects. With Moseley or someone similar, you know exactly what you are getting, these guys are in the article are wild cards.

  • Dumbfounded

    Seems we need a lefty to face new Red Sux power guys, so Francis.
    What about SI saying Yanks looking at Zambrano now because of

    • Daniel

      tooo much money. and he is insane. although we havent had a good water cooler bashig session since O’neil

      • Pasqua

        That should really read: He is insane. And too much money. Priorities, right?

    • Plank

      I would be in favor of Zambrano. They could get him for just money. They could throw in some low level prospects and get the Cubs to give money back I think.

      • Daniel

        if cubs can eat part of the contract then maybe… i woudnt give up anything coveted for him bc frankly its 2 seasons and hes been a slow decline, and there probably would not be interest in resigning him after. Im not sure if the yankees would really take someone with those behavioral problems…its not the jets here we are talking about.

        • Plank

          He’s not overpaid by that much. His numbers have always been really good. He misses a lot of time, and the well publicized head stuff decreases his value a bit, but on the open market a pitcher with his numbers for a two year contract, his current contract is not too far above what he would sign for.

          If he was a FA and looking for a two year deal, he could probably get 2/28. He is signed for 2/36. The Cubs would probably throw in some money, but he’s not an albatross contract like Zito or Burnett.

          • jamie

            Is it really fair to compare Burnett to Zito? at least Burnett got on the mound last year… hasn’t Zito been hurt a lot? and as inconsistent as Burnett is, he’s still pretty good… I guess i’m saying lets reserve judgment until after this season.

            • dalelama

              “and as inconsistent as Burnett is, he’s still pretty good.” Dude where do you get your magic mushrooms? AJ stunk up the joint last year.

            • Plank

              The only thing Zito has been for the Giants is a league average (and occasionally below La) innings eater.

              Burnett’s peripherals have been a bit better over the years, but he’s injured a lot more and the better peripherals haven’t really translated to more success. Zito was better last year.

              Zito has 3/64.5 and Burnett has 3/49.5 left on their deals. Just based on that, I would rather have Burnett.

              But to answer your question, I would say it’s very fair to compare Zito and Burnett in terms of ability and contracts.

          • whozat

            he really struggles to throw strikes. That seems like one of the biggest issues with guys moving from the NL to the AL. That walk rate is going to increase when they don’t get to face pitchers and guys swinging away to try to make something happen in front of the pitcher’s spot, and that’s going to cause lots of problems.

  • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    I just thought about this one guy: FA pitcher, lefty, a lot of success in the past, playoff expirience, missed time with injury in 2010, not sure how much he has left, considering retirement…

    • RL

      And I bet he’s got the mental make-up to excel in NY as well. ;-)

    • Dirty Pena

      Sorry, but Jamie Moyer is out for the year.

      • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        He is also not considering retirement.

        • JAG

          It’s being forcibly pushed on him when his attempt to prove he was healthy ended in elbow (or was it shoulder?) surgery.

  • Rob

    1) Francis – I’d definitely take a flier on him and slot him in the back of the rotation. I think he can be very effective. Plus he’s a lefty which is always nice, especially at YS.

    2) Webb – He’d be worth rolling the dice on, but he’d be more a shot in the dark.

    I’d also take a chance on Duchscherer – He’d probably be more useful, even out of the pen if necessary, than Webb. I just wonder how he’s looking right now. Maybe would put him above Webb, depends how they look/how hard they’re throwing.

    Wang’s probably done, but he’s the only other one worth considering probably if he has anything left. Penny and Young I think would be terrible fits and little to no upside for us, definitely not.

    That’s my $0.02. — I’d also be interested in Carmona on the trade market (as one option), was talking about it yesterday, but only if he can be had ata reasonable price.

    Any opinions on Carmona, Mike or anyone else?

    • Daniel

      Carmona would a brilliant aquisition at a resonable price. He is a full notch below Kershaw and Johnson, so maybe it would not take a top-notch prospect like Jesus

      • Daniel

        full notch below, but still bordering elite…

        • RalphieD

          carmona is in no shape or form “bordering elite”

          • Daniel

            you are right. it was an over statement. Johnson and kershaw are bordering elite, and carmona is a full notch below that.

            • Mike Axisa

              If you don’t think Josh Johnson is elite, then your standards are ridiculously high.

              • Plank

                Yeah, really. Daniel, if Johnson isn’t, who would you consider elite?

                • Daniel

                  upon proper research, I digress, Johnson is elite.

                  • ryan

                    yeah, i’d say so

                    over the past three season he’s 3rd in FIP behind only timmy and cliff lee and fourth in xFIP behind timmy halladay and haren

        • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

          Carmona is NOT bordering elite. He had 3 bad seasons, 1 mediocre, 1 great. And in in best year, which was 3 seasons ago, he had a 3.94 FIP. I don’t see how he is anything more then mediocre.

          • OldYanksFan

            His career numbers:
            96 / 1.436 – ERA+ / WHIP
            And considering his averages over the last 3 years are even worse, I’m not sure you can even call him good.

        • Rob

          I don’t know much about him, but from what I do, reminds me of CMW actually with the ground balls. I think he would be a good fit, eat up innings (he has the ability as long as he stays on the field like last year). Also played with CC is a plus/good fit (assuming they didn’t hate each other lol). Also he’s only 27, which I can’t believe, so he still has time to get better. His contract is reasonable and can be controled for four more years, so I wonder how easily he can be acquired. Could he be acquired without including any of the big three (definitely not Banuelos)?

    • Stan the Man

      How is Wang probably done and Webb is worth a flier? Webb had a more serious injury.

      • Rob

        That may be true I don’t know. But Webb was an elite pitcher, CMW was just very good (so that’s a major difference). I don’t follow Webb’s health so can’t compare them in that regard, but I know it was bad and shoulder related. Also after seeing CMW get shelled in 2009 in the AL East I wouldn’t want him back, unless he has fully recovered (and I don’t see it). I don’t mean CMW is any more done than Webb as a big leaguer, but as being potentially useful to Us I’d rather take a flier on Webb if he is looking healthy because CMW is a known quantity.

  • Bernard

    I agree, add him in – I think he might be the most interesting of the lot. He’s, of course, always hurt but when he pitches he’s fantastic (3.13 ERA, 3.86 FIP, 7 fWAR in 454.2 IP entirely in the AL). I also think because of his low career IP and his relatively low notoriety considering his skill set, he might be attainable on a deal similar to Prior’s. He only got $1.75 mil last year and certainly seems in line for a significant decrease from that.

    Also wouldn’t mind seeing a Jon Lieber/Octavio Dotel-style 2 year incentive heavy offer to Sheets. Let the Yankees rehab him and see if he can provide some value in 2012.

    • Bernard

      Meant for that to be a reply to an earlier comment. Damnit. Him = Duchscherer.

  • miketotheg

    i vote webb for long relief. let’s throw some pasta on the wall and see what sticks.

  • Ben

    MLBTR is saying that both Francis and Young want guaranteed money. Francis wants 4-5 million and Young wants around 2 million guaranteed. If thats the case, I’ll completely pass on Francis.

    Francis-Young-Webb-Penny-Wang was my order before hearing of salary demands. Now it’s Young-Webb-Francis-Penny-Wang.

    • cheddar

      Francis wants 4-5 million

      Lighten up, Francis.

      • Plank

        I don’t think it’s outrageous. A team could easily justify a a 1/$4M contract for Francis.

        • OldYanksFan

          I really like 1 yr contracts. What the hell… I’ll go $4m. CHECKBOOK!

      • RL

        “Wants” and “receives offers of” are 2 entirely different things.


        • Rob

          LOL, Agreed. I’d still consider that. He actually threw in the ML in 2010 unlike Wang or Webb so he probably should get something guaranteed, a big league deal. Maybe he can be had for something like $2.5M with $2M in incentives, who knows.

  • Mike Myers

    On October 3, 2007, Francis became the first Canadian starting pitcher to win a Major League Baseball postseason game by beating the Philadelphia Phillies. It was his first postseason appearance.

    Post season experience? J/K

  • Henry

    It’s sad to see how the former ace of the Yankees from only 2 seasons ago has fallen. I would bring back CMW.

    • Totes McGoates

      CMW was never an ace.

      • RL

        ace of the Yankees

        With the ptiching they had at the time, that is appropriate.

    • Colombo

      Not to be rude, but if you see how far he has fallen, why would you want to bring him back. You really have to try to remove any sentimentality from the free agent market. CMW can in no way help this team.

  • matt

    I’d guarantee Francis. He is what he is, soft tossing lefty, but he’s had some success in Coors and as regards Boston, the more left handed this staff is the better. To that end, and as an aside, never thought I’d utter these words, but I would absolutely overpay Brian Fuentes for two years. He scares me to death high leverage but he just devastates lefties and he wouldn’t be closing – and indeed, I’d overpay him in hopes of convincing him to come as a set-up guy. I any event, if not him, then Feliciano is a must have.

    Webb I just can’t make a call on, I have to assume the Yanks are extensively monitoring him and here I’ll have to go with the scouts’ judgment as to whether he looks done.

    I’d have no issue guaranteeing Duscherer though again, I’m relying on the scouts to assure me that his stuff looks right. If so, no issues giving him a ML deal since he can pitch out of the pen too.

    Re: Carmona; if somehow that club could be convinced that they’re just too far away and hence would accept a package of good non-Montero prospects (they don’t need the catching help anyway, though he could always DH if Pronk’s contract ever ends). I’d gladly do three prospects for Carmona, one of them can be a killer B, maybe, maybe, you could talk me into two of them, if it’s Brackman/Betances, I think Banuelos ought to be the one least available. And if that’s the case, that’s the deal, the two Bs for Fausto. Gun to my head, I make that trade, Carmona’s volatility is scary big time, but when he’s right, he’s darn nasty and Brackman/Betances both fall into the “things needs to go right” category rather than the sure thing category; whereas Banuelos may not have quite the upside, but he’s much more polished, for me, he’s the one who’s most clearly going to be a good MLB starting pitcher.

    In any event, I hope right this second Cash is 24/7 showering Andy with affection. And slightly off topic and I know we all hate the debate, but how could a GM who I think that most of us who consider ourselves reasonable fans largely support, possibly countenance the notion of not immediately reinserting Joba into the rotation. I mean, that’s it, he’s been declared a low leverage middle reliever for life? Perfect strategy, utilize him as inefficiently as possible while destroying any trade value.

    • kosmo

      No way you give up Betances and Brackman for Carmona.Maybe Brackman and Adams or Joseph.The Yanks aren´t going to give up their most coveted pitching prospects for a backend of rotation type SP.Carmona still has a lot to prove to begin throwing good prospects at.

  • Pasqua

    Is the general lack of interest in Wang brought on by the fact that he’s been a Yankee and we tend to be infatuated with “new toys”?

    The reason I ask is that, before he was hurt, he was great. No, he wasn’t an ace (even though he shouldered that role for a time) but he doesn’t have to be. It seems to me that several of the names being thrown around (Penny, Webb, etc.) have just as much to prove as Wang. So…why not Wang?

    • matt

      Concern is largely that a severe shoulder injury means that heavy sinker that he’s entirely dependent on will be sitting at 88. It was great when it was 94. Really tragic (to the extent we call injuries to professional athletes tragic) what happened to him, but bear in mind even before the foot injury, his peripherals were headed in the wrong direction (a few more Ks, but a ton more walks and significantly fewer groundballs). Clubs just go in with approach of laying off the sinker and with diminished velocity he’s pretty naked out there.

      • Pasqua

        Great points. Thanks!

    • radnom

      Webb was better than Wang when they were both healthy. It is impossible to know for sure the chances of these guys panning out so I assume people are just naturally drawn to the higher upside. It make sense.

      Seeing Wang get demolished post foot injury/prior to shoulder surgery probably is a factor as well. Honestly he would be a good pickup, I would go with him or Webb if we limit to just this list.

      • Pasqua

        Oh, absolutely Webb was better. I suppose I mean to say that Wang seems to be dismissed as a non-entity amongst a lot of people, which is strange to me. Hence my remark about “new toys.” I would sign Webb before any of those listed, but I think I’d go with Wang next.

  • B-Rando

    What about the Yankees prodigal son?? THE Pedro Martinez? Not an injured player, but quite possibly the definition of a stop gap to fill a rotation slot for a while.

  • Paul

    Carmona would be a good option, I would imagine you could get him for a group of mid level prospects or trade straight up for Joba.

    • Bulldozer

      I thought we gave up on overvaluing Joba in trades?

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        we will NEVER stop overvaluing our own players. NEVER I TELL YOU!

        • Thomas

          We just need to start getting other teams to overvalue our prospect.

    • Simon

      I like the idea of trading for Carmona since he sort of re-invented himself. Wow I didnt even think of Carmona. But I’m willing to bet a lot that the Indians are going to ask for a boatload.

      • Clay Bellinger

        I saw something earlier that said he’s drawing as much interest as Greinke. Though he obviously isn’t as good, he’s pretty cost friendly through 2014.

  • BG90027

    It’s not much to go on but I remember reading Bob Klapish report that a scout told him Wang looked filthy in the Fall Instructional Leagues this year. I think I’d prefer him based on that and the devil you know. If its on a minor league contract and a flyer that he can give you more out of the 5 spot than Nova, I think its a gamble worth taking. If Pettitte retires though, they either need to convert Joba back to starter or acquire someone decent without these health questions. These gambles aren’t enough to comfortably fill two spots in the rotation.

    • Rob

      If Wang is looking good, and set to return by Spring Training, I’d put him in the same category as Webb (and perhaps Duchscherer), otherwise below Webb and JDuch. I like that Duchscherer can pitch out of the pen too, if he falls out of the rotation or they deem he can’t sustain pitching every 5 days (liked the idea of him last offseason too). Francis is more of a sure thing.

  • Monteroisdinero

    What happened to Jason Hirsh? 6″8″ 250lb righty at Scranton awhile ago..

    • Mike R.- Retire 21

      Nice try buddy.


      • I Voted for Kodos

        That’s probably my all time favorite moment from the fat ass’s show. It was all kinds of hilarious.

  • Donatello Giannini

    I would have have to say sign the Wang, he has already proved himself. Take a chance on Francis as well. He is a lefty and good ground-ball is a plus at Yankee stadium.

  • Matt

    Anyone think Brian Bannister might be an interesting pitcher to take a flyer on?

    • JohnathanCold

      Na, we can do better.

    • Clay Bellinger

      Interesting name, but he was so damn bad last year – WAR of 0.

  • JohnathanCold

    If we could sign Webb to an incentive-laden contract like Prior I’m all for it.

  • A.D.

    Personally I’d go Francis, best chance of actually contributing

  • the Other Steve S.

    Jeremy Bonderman?

    • Clay Bellinger

      Nah, he flat out sucks.

      • the Other Steve S.

        Everybody sucks. We just need him to stand out there for 200 innings and help win half his games. If CC and Hughes repeat their seasons and everbody else goes .500, we win 92 games. If Andy comes back its 96. Don’t need much more than that and by the end of the season there might be help from below.

        • Clay Bellinger

          The problem is that he won’t even do that. He hasn’t had a WAR above 1 since 2007 and he hasn’t tossed 200 innings since 2006.

          • the other Steve S,

            Can you imagine, a WAR or 1.0 means you maybe barely belong in the majors. You go home at the end of the year and tell the wife, ‘Well Honey, I suck, but we made 4 million dollars this year. What a life.”

  • djyank

    here’s an idea:

    -start nova and noesi as the 4 and the 5 respectively.
    -trade the one who has a higher value at the deadline to acquire a veteran w/ playoff experience
    -use that veteran to sure up the staff leading up to and during the postseason
    -let the veteran go after the playoffs and get compensation picks
    -promote Banuelos and either Brackman to the 2012 rotation

    we would end up with a good stop-gap to get by until ‘the killer B’s’ are ready. in the process, we would ride an accomplished veteran, and end up with compensation picks when we let that player walk. nova and noesi would be gone or dispensable at that point, and the outlook would be promising for the 2012 season.

    betances would be waiting in the wings in AAA Scranton, as the yankee rotation would consist of:

    2011 would be a ‘rebuilding year’ for the Yankees, much in the way 2010 was for the Red Sox.

    Montero AND Romnie would be entirely ready to produce at the major league level.

    AND we would still have 22-35 million dollars sitting around to sign a marquee free-agent or two.

    this promising scenario is all due to the fact that we didn’t throw our money at a bad contract this year, which would have created problems down the road. it is also entirely realistic.

    signing one of the above players would not significantly hinder this plan, but is superfluous.

    p.s. i must say, it’s mighty interesting having to think in these small, humble, and modest terms as a yankee fan. lets embrace the opportunity and show the world that we can win without the big name players :)

    any thoughts?

    • ryan

      “it is also entirely realistic.”

      hahaha i REALLLY hope that was sarcasm

      • djyank

        ? the plan is basically to do nothing and let the minor league talent play out, only making minor moves. how is that unrealistic?

        • Clay Bellinger

          It’s just that literally everything would have to fall our way for this plan to work out. Noesi has only pitched 3 games in AAA, it’s highly doubtful that he’s ready for the bigs or that any of the killer B’s are in the rotation at the start of 2012. It’s possible, but unlikely. It’s more like a best-case scenario. Also, with such a huge payroll and a team that fell just 2 games short of a return to the WS, it’s hard too look at 2011 as a “rebuiling” year just yet.

  • Nick

    Id say Francis or Young. Francis was once a 1st round pick and Young has been hard to hit. Better than Mitre or Nova

  • JB

    Most (if not all) of these guys are pretty useless. The only one I’d give a ML roster spot to is Webb is he can get his FB up above 85. Otherwise, I’d rather just give Nova a shot and see what he can do over the course of a few months.

    Although, I have to admit, I’d like to see the Yanks make a move for Zambrano. You gotta figure it’d take next to nothing to get him. I feel like a change of scenery, being reunited with his pitching coach, and the reduced stress of no longer having to be the ace for a disorganize franchise could lead to a return to form for him.

    • Andrew S.

      Webb would be a great addition if he starts to get his stuff back…

      But let’s be real, the other guys would just be owned in the AL east… I don’t know Wang’s current health status, but if he was the Wang of old, he’d be good… but I wouldn’t necessarily bank on him.

      I’d never want Zambrano on my team. He’s a liability and a half. The Yanks already play under tremendous pressure, they don’t need one more problem to deal with.

      I heard rumblings about Chris Carpenter… what happened to that?

  • FIPster Doofus

    From Cliff Lee to the scrapheap. That’s in no way depressing.

  • Dick Whitman

    I’d take Francis followed by Webb. Just say no to Penny, CMW & Young.

  • MIckey’s Boy

    1) Sign Pedro. He’ll crap out after half a season, but by then maybe some of the kids will be ready.

    2) Sign all of the injured pitchers in the post. Maybe one of them will work out.

    3) Sign Carl Pavano. He grew up as a Yankee fan and will bust his ass for the team (literally).

    • OldYanksFan

      2 points!

  • Tank57

    Why not sign someone who wasn’t hurt who is a veteran and is an innings eater like Kevin Millwood or Freddy Garcia…

  • ray-ray

    Zambrano is definitely the answer for the Yanks!The wounds are still fresh in Chicago and he can be had without giving up too much…less players,more money,vice a versa…when on,he’s a formidable #1…and grab duscherer as insurance to boot!IF he’s healthy enough to pitch..he’s a #2 or a great #3…he’ll also definitely hit the DL,serious or not,once or twice and give our youngsters a few cameos so we can discover another wang from the farm!!(on a sidenote,i hated giving up on kennedy..he’d be looking pretty good about now!!!)

  • NYY28n11

    Baffled how some of you are saying you’d rather have one of these injured re-treads vs a guy like Nova. Did any of you see him pitch? Great mound awareness and a 97 mph fastball…give the kid a chance!

    None of the above work for the Yankees anyway. They NEED to make a trade and Cashman NEEDS to do his flippin job for a change!! Find out what it takes to land Big Z, Carpenter, Liriano or maybe Wandy and get the job DONE. Greinke is not an option.

    Finally…Joba will NOT be in the rotation. Absolutely NOT. Cashman has already said it multiple times…and he is just NOT a starting pitcher!!

  • chas P

    With respect to other’s idea’s and concerns, one solution I think that should be considered is to move Boone Logan into the starting rotation. He throws hard enough and is sufficiently wild enough to keep people from digging in. I think his stuff works better as a starter than a reliever. If he could add a consistent off speed pitch – splitter or straight change – he would be very effective. Admittedly, he needs to be more consistent with this breaking stuff as well. If Andy P. can assist on the curve and cutter and the pick move, Logan would be a solid 3/4/5 man. Certainly not a rookie and much better than Mitre or Nova -IMHO- and no history of injury.

  • NYY28n11

    They are trying to sign Feleciano because they desperately need ANOTHER lefty in the pen. The last thing they wanna do is now delete one to convert him.

    Nova has very good stuff. He’s 22 years old, throws 97 mph and doesn’t get intimidated by his surroundings. He should get the #5 slot. What the Yankees need is a 2-3, not a #5. Yankees need a rotation of: CC, Carpenter/Zambrano/Liriano, Andy, Phil, AJ/Nova to compete!

    • chas P

      I believe Nova’s only shortcoming is his breaking stuff from a consistency perspective. That could be only because he is 22, so he has to be afforded some time. And I love his heater and his tempermant on the mound. He is a very big dude. I prefer Logan due to Boston’s left side build up. Signing Feliciano offsets moving Logan to a starter. And if Fuentes is picked up, that should do it. At least I hope it will. You are absolutely correct that a 2/3 is needed – I think Logan can be the 3, with CC and Phil as 1,2. Hard to suggest that Andy is not a 3 even though he is at the end. Nevertheless, would rather see another left handed starter added. But I do, like you, like Nova and think he has upside. Have always thought the Yanks should have the best arm in the org as the 5 guy and just let him go. The only way to have consistent long term staff. Go Bombers

  • Joe

    Hes not a veteran…but a young lefty stud…Manny Banuelos, this guy will surprise everyone this spring training…Nova 4th. starter and Manny the 5th. starter…Take it to the Bank !

  • NYY28n11

    Manny is 19 YEARS OLD! He’s only had 3 total starts at even AA. He’s not nearly ready for the show. Last thing you want to do is bring a guy up waaaay early, have him get rocked and lose all confidence. He’ll start the year in AA.

  • NYY28n11

    Clearly the best option right now is to trade for Carlos Zambrano.

    He’ll still pretty young, definitely talented, worked with Rothchild in CHI, has burned a bridge with the Cubs/makes a ton of money…so they won’t need half the farm as a return…and he is a legit #2 behind CC. CC, Z, Andy, Phil and Nova/AJ makes for a very solid rotation to compete in the AL East.

  • NYY28n11

    ChasP –

    Logan has never started a single game at the major league level…now he’s going to be converted to not only a starter….but #3 starter just like that?? Extremely unlikely.

    Also, to be a good starting pitcher, you really need 3 good pitches. Logan is a fastball-slider guy only. Not enough to go through a line-up multiple times.

    If you look at his splits, lefties hit .190/.286 against him. Righties – .279/.372. Clearly his best assest is shutting down key lefties late in games!

    Finally, if they were even to consider this…he would have to start the year in the minors to get stretched out…which means the Yankees lose him for half the year. None of this makes any sense for the Yankees.

  • paulus_hook

    After losing out on Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee and most recently Kerry Wood, you would think the Yankees would get in heavy on Rafael Soriano, who could be a potential lethal bridge to Mariano Rivera. There’s no guarantee Rivera will hold up 100% physically over the next two years and Soriano could easily (and happily) make the transition to closer. As it currently stands, the Yankees only have one starting pitcher (C.C. Sabathia) who is likely to be a complete-game threat. The Bombers need to load up their bullpen with enough quality arms to hold off their opponents from the fifth inning on. Brian, please offer Soriano 3 years at $27 million with a $11 million option for a fourth year!

    • The Real JobaWockeeZ

      Name any reliever that lived up to a 3 year contract or more. Besides Mo.

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