So it has come to this: Kevin Millwood as a rotation option

Five biggest hits of the 2010 season
Hughes, Joba, Logan all agree to one year deals

Just one more pitcher. Sure, the Yanks could use two more quality arms, but at this point in the off-season they’ll have to settle for one mediocre one. The only question remaining is of which mediocre starter will fill that fifth, or even fourth, slot. In his column yesterday SI’s Jon Heyman brings up a name that we’ve heard uttered before, but until this point none of us wanted to think about him too deeply: Kevin Millwood.

A glance at Millwood’s numbers, especially the ones he produced last year in the AL East, might not inspire confidence, but remember the situation the Yankees face. As it currently stands they have fairly unattractive options for the final two spots in the rotation. Sergio Mitre is nothing more than a placeholder. Ivan Nova, though he has potential, has completed six innings just once in seven career starts. Hector Noesi, David Phelps, and the other AAA guys might present options down the road, but it would be quite the leap to start the season with them in the rotation. Considering this mess, Millwood might actually represent an upgrade.

One thing Millwood can give is innings. In five of the last six years he has made at least 31 starts. In the year he fell short he started 29. That immediately gives him a leg up on Mitre, who has topped 120 innings just once in his career. Having a pitcher at the back of the rotation who can give you six or seven innings a start, even if he’s giving up three or four runs on average, has value. It’s not ideal, especially for a first division team such as the Yankees. But at this point it’s better than someone who has pitched six innings just once in the past three years.

Of course, just because he can provide innings doesn’t mean they’ll be quality innings. Just once in the past five years has Millwood finished with an ERA below 4.50. That came in 2009 with the Rangers, and his peripherals were all well above that. It was a welcome change, of course, since his peripherals in the preceding three seasons were all considerably worse than his results. Last year he returned to 2007-2008 form. His high home run rate is also cause for concern, especially as a righty at Yankee Stadium. But there are at least a few mitigating factors.

First, pitching in Texas can absolutely kill a pitcher’s ERA. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league. Then, when he moved to the AL East last year, an injury might have made his overall season numbers look worse. At the beginning of the season he actually pitched quite well, but then he hit a rough patch that started with one game against Toronto and two against the Yankees. After this poor stretch he hit the DL with forearm soreness, and returned to pitch pretty well: 83 IP, 88 H, 41 R, 39 ER, 30 BB, 48 K, 10 HR — 4.23 ERA and 4.60 FIP. Again, they aren’t great, but they’re — wait for it — better than you’d expect from Mitre.

That’s the gold standard right now. If there is a pitcher out there who can pitch more innings and provide better results than Sergio Mitre, the Yankees have to at least kick the tires. Many of us wish that Joba Chamberlain would be the answer here, and maybe there’s still hope. If the Yankees do indeed move Joba to the rotation I wouldn’t at all advocate for Millwood. But if they don’t, then I will. It really has come to that. The Yankees need reliability and depth right now, and Millwood brings some degree of both. He’s not ideal, and I really wish I didn’t have to write this. But considering the situation, he’s far from the worst option.

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Five biggest hits of the 2010 season
Hughes, Joba, Logan all agree to one year deals
  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

    Even if it’s just out of pride, no, never, no.

    It reeks of mid-2000’s mediocrity. I’m aware that it’s not that bad; but please, for the sake of our children…

  • PaulF

    Why is Kevin Millwood a better option than Freddy Garcia?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      Because Garcia has pitched under 300 innings in the last 4 years.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        And, we know Millwood can be mediocre in the AL East (but pitching for the Yankees will make it an easier transition). Garcia, if he can put up innings, might be much worse than mediocre in the AL East.

        • Daniel

          his ERA against the yankes is probabl terrible in the 4 games a year he plays them…idk how much those 4 games now against the O’s will help.

    • Ted Nelson

      One thing to consider is money. It’s nothing more than speculation for me to mention it, but obviously the Yankees know what both are asking for. Because Millwood has been consistent, he’s got a right to ask for more than Garcia. At some point, though, the premium you’re paying for that consistency may not be worth it. Millwood’s agent, after all, is Scott Boras.

      This is especially important if some crazy $10 mill Millwood deal hurts the Yankees ability to trade for a starter mid-season, while Garcia gets maybe $2 mill guaranteed or something. Hopefully a veteran retread is nothing more than a placeholder, and ultimately Garcia may be better suited to that role.

  • Monteroisdinero

    “The Mitre bar is so low” like playing handball against the curb.. An old NYC street joke

    Millwood tossed a couple of 7 inning shutouts on the road against LA and Tampa in the second half. Something Mitre most certainly wouldn’t/couldn’t accomplish.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS
      • Monteroisdinero

        should have said in 2010. Even so, what the heck got into Mitre that day? Very uncharacteristic.

      • Super Nintendo Chalmers

        Most major league pitchers do occasionally throw shutout ball, despite their overall awfulness. This guy threw 6 shutout innings once.

        http://www.baseball-reference......4280.shtml

        • Monteroisdinero

          bring him up!

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          Oh, sure. I was just responding to “Millwood tossed a couple of 7 inning shutouts on the road against LA and Tampa in the second half. Something Mitre most certainly wouldn’t/couldn’t accomplish.”

          • Monteroisdinero

            I know. I was just pointing out that Millwood has some recent upside. Not much, but some.

            • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

              Pitching one or two decent to good games does not constitute “upside”

  • Ed

    Please bring on the Chris Carpenter deal in July…

    • Big Apple

      what makes you think Carpenter will do well in the AL East? it has been nearly 9 yrs since he pitched for the jays and he wasn’t that great when he did.

      • Accent Shallow

        He’s a completely different pitcher than he once was. This idea that the AL East is MLB+ and everywhere else is AAAA is garbage.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think the dangers of the AL East are exaggerated. Certainly there may be a trend there, but generally speaking you would expect that the guys who do the best elsewhere would also (again, *generally*) do the best in the AL East.

        I don’t know whether or not Carpenter is even going to be available. And if he is I don’t know that he is the guy, mostly because of his age. It’s a bit of a catch 22 where he pitched like an ace the last two seasons so if he starts hot the Cards would probably look for an ace package, but he’s 36 this season with a team option for his 37 year old season. It could turn out that he’s worth more to the Cardinals in their uniform than in a trade, and worth less to the Yankees than the package they’d have to give up… but who knows. The Yankees could do a lot worse.

        • Ted Nelson

          Basically, you’re stuck in the AL East no matter what, so you might as well get the best pitching you can (taking into consideration all the factors you would elsewhere, including performance, age, your stadium, $, overall strategy, deployment of resources, and budget…).

          • Big Apple

            all good points…and I too think the AL East thing is overblown a bit. however, there are many examples of pitchers that do well in the NL and then not so well in the AL East. Yanks have had their share…R. Johnson, Vasquez.

            if they get a cuy like carpenter who is old and who has pitched in the NL for sometime now they can not give up a lot to get him. otherwise its very risky.

            • tomaconda1

              Randy Johnson was 172 years old when he came to the Yankees. He would have destroyed the aleast in his prime.

              • Big Apple

                i say the bring in moyer…he’s three days older than dirt.

        • David

          He would be perfect. His age would keep the price down. The Cardinals need to relieve $$$$ to sign their big dog. It is a great match.

          It would be contingent upon Andy Favre – “I’m really not sure what I am going to do. I don’t know what is going on. Just hanging out. May stay home and watch the kids. Now working out. Blah, blah, blah. Please give me more money!!!”.

          • Ted Nelson

            Could work out that way… We’ll have to see. Carpenter relieves short-term money, but he’s only got a team option for 2012… i.e. They’ve got an ace with a whole lot of contract flexibility and no long-term commitment. I don’t know the Cards’ financial situation, but I’d doubt they’re desperate to dump him. If they do look to move him, the short-term nature of his deal might attract some healthy mid-market interest.

  • Mister Delaware

    All in favor of a do-over on the Haren trade negotiations, say aye.

    • Ted Nelson

      Hopefully the Yankees find their own Haren this season…

  • Regis

    Aaron Small is still available!

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Shawn Chacon!

  • Ultimate Yankee Warrior (James)

    “Considering this mess, Millwood might actually represent an upgrade.”

    An upgrade in what? Reputation? Or performance?

    • Whozat

      Performance above replacement mitre (PARM), a stat often used in conjunction with Expected Good Games Per Loss; Averaged, Not Total (EGGPLANT)

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

        hahahahahaha ietc

      • I Voted 4 Kodos

        Well played, good sir. Well played.

  • Dave

    I say take a chance on Zombrano. Let’s face it Joba is not a starter, and he’s proved that. I say trade Joba for Zombrano. The Cubs would probably pay half his salary.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      I would argue, as would many, he has not proven he’s not a starter at all. Also, the Cubs would want more than just Joba.

      • pete

        that. There’s absolutely nothing available to the public that could be considered even strong evidence, let alone proof, that he can’t start.

      • Bulasteve

        I don’t think the Cubs would want more than Joba for Zambrano if the Yankees took on all the salary, however, NO on Zambrano in any situation. Also for a few months in 2009, Joba was the best and most consistant starter and I want him back.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      I think I’d rather have Millwood than Zambrano.

  • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    My issue with “gives you innings” is the same thing that I used to say when Livan’s name would pop up every once in a while a few years back.

    If, for arguments sake, Millwood gives up five runs in the first three innings, how likely is Girardi (or Torre in the Livan situation)to leave him in so he can give us seven innings?

    • Big Apple

      i get your point, but with all the crap out there, the yanks might as well go for the most durable piece of crap. if the 5th start is going to end up in a loss 80% of the time a small victory would come from a pitcher that could get shelled but still put up 6.5 7 IP each time and not kill the bullpen.

      of course, that’s what i expected from vasquez last year and he didn’t deliver.

      • http://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

        That’s sort of what I’m saying. There was a quick hook on Vazquez last year when he started to fall apart, and he gave us no innings. I’m not sure it would be any different with Millwood.

        Anyone have Mussina’s number? :)

  • Daniel

    I officially volunteer myself for the starting rotation job.

  • Legend

    I have said all winter that the two guys we need to sign are Millwood and Heilman. I was against Lee from the start and still very glad we didnt get stuck with him until he was 42. I titally agree Joba shouls start but cashman is against it so for now he poitches the 7th. If we sign Heilman, he can move to the pen if he sucks or if we re sign Pettitte or make a mid season trade. I personally think Nova should be the long man in the pen and Mitre should be DFA. My staff would be as follows:

    1 CC
    2 Hughes
    3 AJ
    4 Millwood
    5 Heilman
    LR Nova
    LOOGY Boone and Feliciano
    6th inning when needed Robertson
    7th inning Joba
    8th inning Soriano
    Closer Mo

    Its not perfect, but if we have the lead after 5 when any of our 3, 4 or 5 starters go we win the game!

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      Aaron Heilman hasn’t started a game since 2005, and holds a career 5.93 ERA as a starter, all in the NL.

      He is not better than Sergio Mitre

      • Daniel

        Amen

      • Legend

        Heilman is a bette option then anyone else out there including Mitre. He has pitched in NY and has had sucess.If he is the 5th starter he is only needed 3 times in April then he can be put back in the pen if Pettitte returns. Having seen Phelps pitch in person a dozen times or so I woudl be very comfortable giving him a month or two at Scranton and bringing him up. Same with Nossi. DJ Mitchell is not as polished as those two. What I am saying is we can use the kids and or Pettitte once we get into the season. All we ned is Millwood and Heilman to get us off to a decent start

        • SamVa

          and what they are saying is a 5.93 era is not a decent start…

        • Accent Shallow

          He has pitched in NY and has had sucess.

          But not as a starting pitcher.

          Look, if you just want a placeholder until Phelps/Noesi are ready, fine, I think that’s viable. But Aaron Heilman? Why him and not a dozen other pitchers?

          • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

            Look, if you just want a placeholder until Phelps/Noesi are ready, fine, I think that’s viable. But Aaron Heilman? Why him and not a dozen other pitchers Sergio Mitre?

            I’m no fan of Mitre, but any suggestions for replacements have to be clearly better. Heilman fails that test.

      • Preston

        Plus I think he signed with the Dbacks today…

  • Ted Nelson

    I really don’t think the Yankees are going into the season with Mitre as their 4th/5th starter. If they’re so high on him (i.e. high on him at all), why did he start 3 games in a season where Dustin Moseley started 9? Maybe there’s an argument for consistency of roles and stretching out his arm or he was hurt or something… but I doubt they go into spring training with him starting.

    Perhaps Mitre’ll surprise a little to beat someone out (Nova, Millwood/Garcia/Bonderman/Duchscherer) or injuries will force him to start… but that’s where the value of a Garcia or Millwood comes in if the price is right. Have some competition in spring training, some depth entering the season, and hopefully a placeholder to eat some innings until a better option comes along.

    Boras has got to be using the Vazquez deal to try to get Millwood over $7 mill, whereas injury risks like Garcia, Duchscherer, and Bonderman are probably looking more at Jeff Francis as a precedent. If that’s actually the case, whether that $3-5+ mill premium is worth the peace of mind of a consistent Millwood is up to the Yankees to decide I guess.

    • toad

      I doubt it. Where is it written that Millwood can’t get hurt?

      Paying him $7 million is ridiculous.

      • Ted Nelson

        He pitched as well as Javy last season and they’re right around the same age… Javy got $7 mill. Clearly no team is willing to meet Boras’ demands right now because the guy is unsigned. I have no idea what those demands are, but I bet Javy is lowest possible comparison he’s using.

        It is written no where that he can’t get hurt and I am not a Dr. It’s not about his health so much as the other guys’ lack of health.

        • toad

          Javy is eighteen months younger, and his last five years are considerably better than Millwood’s. The bad 2010 was an aberration for Javy. The good 2009 looks like an aberration for Millwood.

          • Ted Nelson

            It’s Boras. And 18 months doesn’t really make a huge difference in your mid-30s. And it’s hard to definitively call it an aberration when he lost considerable velocity on his fastball and generally got rocked. There’s also a good chance that was the beginning of the end and his arm is shot.

            The one thing that’s clear right now is that Millwood is looking for more money than teams are willing to pay him, or he’d be signed. I don’t know what that means in terms of $ or years, but I’m sure Boras is doing everything he possibly can to get Millwood as much money as possible. We’ll see how much that is.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Someone should make an Obamacon of Joba and write under it “Starting Pitching”

    • Daniel

      put jobas face on an obama poster and have it say change….into a starter

  • HeavyHitter

    The Yankees will make a trade, a la Gorzellany for 3 so-so prospects. No need to give Millwood a second thought. Screw him.

  • Fair Weather Freddy

    Still say Justin Duscsherer is the best option among all the questionables.

    • SamVa

      this

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      I like Duchscherer enough, but he’s not at all reliable.

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        Duchsherer has the most upside, I’d like to see him in conjunction with a Millwood type. Worst case scenario is they both look good enough, and healthy enough in the spring that Nova starts the year in Scranton.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCfVFxRsKQc hardwired

    For the Yanks, Mitre’s BAA as a starter: .327

    as a reliever: .199

    Keep the Meatman as the 12th man on the staff, por favor.

    • Big Apple

      mitre has done a great job as a mid releiver, IMO

  • coolerking101

    Millwood is a quality #4 pitcher (a #3 in the NL). Given the options out there, I’d sign him ASAP so long as he’s agreeable to a 1 yr deal.

    The guy’s stats are skewed by the fact that the Orioles had no faith in their pen last year. They left Millwood in games when he was totally gassed and let him implode. Had he pitched for a decent team, I bet he would have gotten the hook much earlier in several games and ended with an ERA around 4/4.50. I’m sure everyone on this board would sign up for a #4 pitcher who could give the Yanks 200+ innings with a 4.50 ERA.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      You know there’s no truth to this, right?

      ERA by innings
      1-3: 5.44
      4-6: 5.44
      7-9: 1.59

      Millwood’s worst ERA came in the 1st inning (11.03) and his second worst ERA came in the 4th inning (6.60). Was he totally gassed in the 1st and 4th innings?

      • CS Yankee

        But, it must be true because he saw it.

        I’m sure their RP racked up at least average IP last season.

        Although we all know the Mitre as a SP isn’t happening, they could in theory use him for 3 starts in April & maybe 5 in May and call up the hottest arm come June 1. If that was the plan, we would only need 30-40 innings (at the most) from the #5 starter, whereas;
        1 thru 4+ innings= 5th starter (Meatray)
        5th= Lefties (Boone & that over paid/pitched Met)
        6th= Joba (Joba to teh 6th!!!)
        7th= Drob (best 7th inning heater in the game)
        8th= Soriano (the newest undervalued role)
        9th= Mo (hopefully for the next decade)

        This could yeild as many wins wins as the #2 SP (let’s hope not though)

      • coolerking101

        Sorry, inning stats don’t tell all. I’m sure there were many games where he was throwing junk in the 4th inning and should have been pulled. Rather than bring in relief, they let him go out there and die. Contending teams rarely let that happen.

        • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

          Prove it.

    • Ted Nelson

      I’m not against Millwood, but you’re overstating the case for him. He’s pitched 200+ innings in 1 of the past 7 seasons and you’re advocating cutting his innings total. You can’t have him pitch more innings AND come out of games earlier.

      A one year deal at, say, $5 mill is also a long ways off from the $10+ mill Boras is likely seeking. So, if there’s no market for him I’d wait Boras out this time instead of jumping on it “ASAP.”

      • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

        Maybe he can make 50 4 inning starts?

  • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

    He threw a no-hitter while with the Phils…sign him up.

    • Mister Delaware

      I WAS AT THAT GAME OMGOMGOMG!!!

      • http://yanksgoyard.com Andy_C_23

        Me too!

  • jsbrendog (returns)

    i’m crying.

  • bobmac

    Duchscherer.

  • king of fruitless hypotheticals

    with a billion dollar bullpen, Nova only needs to go five :)

    • Ted Nelson

      I know you’re kidding, but there’s some truth there. Turning to, maybe, a Robertson or Joba or Feliciano in the 6th instead of a Romulo Sanchez or Royce Ring or Chan Ho Park type should win the Yankees some games they would have lost.

  • chris

    You keep talking about free agent options but don’t you think Cashman and company are exploring trade options at this point? I think that’s exactly what their doing. I think they’d be wasting their time going after guys of Kevin Millwoods caliber. If there is absolutley nothing to do on the trade market and they can’t get anything done, then I would say get a guy like Freddy Garcia or Millwood. I’m all for preaching paitience as what Cashman has stated. The season hasn’t even started and everyone is in a frenzy (including myself at times) about this rotation as it stands. I think mistakes the Yankees have made in the past was making moves seemingly just to make a move and I’m on Cashman’s side with paitience because there’s not a doubt in my mind he’s looking to upgrade in a considerable way.

    • http://ww.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      RAB has covered potential trade partners all offseason, there’s no clear option.

      • Ted Nelson

        That, plus free agents are necessarily available (and presumably looking to sign soon) and as an outside observer it’s hard to know what trade targets are available at what price.

  • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    I need to preface this comment by noting that I thought/wished that Pettitte would re-sign this offseason, so the current situation is certainly not my ideal scenario…

    That being said, I was very hesitant about the Yanks signing Lee, and the current situation is not something I find all that surprising or that I find to be the end of the world. Without knowing what might be available via trade, this offseason always shaped up in my mind like so: Yanks go after Lee, Yanks go after Pettitte, and if they sign just one of them or neither of them, Yanks fill-in with spare parts or prospects. I don’t think this is a big surprise to a lot of people – it was no secret that the FA pitching market would be weak this offseason – I think it’s just tougher to deal with the reality of it than it was to deal with the prospect of it. When you get into a position of thinking about spare parts, you deal with the Millwoods of the world. Considering the strength of the pitching coming up through the minors, I don’t think this is the worst situation in the world. You can go into a season with a Millwood as your #4/5 and then see where the chips fall during the season. Things change – prospects succeed and prospects take steps back, players become available via trade, etc. This is a fluid transactional system, there are always other opportunities coming down the pike.

    • http://twitter.com/steveh_MandAura Steve H

      Other wanting Lee more than you ddi, I agree with this 100%. Once they didn’t get him(and may not get Pettitte), it is what it is.

      • Ted Nelson

        +1

    • CS Yankee

      I’m almost with your every point (Lee, let Pettitte decide, wait-n-see) but am lost with the Millwood as 4/5th.

      Mitre, Garcia, Millwood, etc. can’t inspire them thinking that they can be alright for 2011. Are Garcia/Millwood/Francis better than Mitre for 2011? If so, are they 5-10M$ better?…no. Are they 2-5M$ better?…likely. I’m not sure paying that amount to see a guy make 6-8 starts is worth the gamble because if he isn’t you have to look farm or trade to solve the issue while your wallet is a bit lighter for only a few starts.

      Soriano for 10M$ plus the pick for 2011 is a better gamble than the 6M$ Jenks 2011 costs. More games will be closer in 2011 and applying those resouces may work out (not that I would have sign him) better than a bandaged reclaimed project for a 5th starter.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        A few quick responses, I don’t have much time to really get into all this…

        I think you think I was arguing that the Yanks should sign Millwood, but I didn’t. It was really just a general comment about these being the types of guys who are in play for the back-end of the rotation right now and how that’s not surprising or the end of the world.

        You have to consider depth, also. Adding one of these “spare parts” guys helps with depth, there are questions in this rotation (obvious Mitre issues, Nova, AJ is an enigma at this point) before you even start to consider the inevitable injuries etc.

        Not sure what the Soriano/Jenks stuff has to do with my comment, but I will point out that I’ve been fine with the Yanks going out and signing a reliever this offseason since there were decent relievers out on the FA market while there was a dearth of quality starters on the FA market, while the Yanks have some starters coming up through the system that could fill those holes eventually (and they have a starter sitting in the bullpen).

        • CS Yankee

          Were pretty close here.

          The Soriano/Jenks stuff was just to expand the overall view that Jenks was a bargain at 6 per (as a lot posted here about) and if that is the case than perhaps Soriano at twice the costs (value of the walk cost & draftee uncertain), it might be a good move for the club considering the makeup.

          Most of these former pitching studs turned bargain fail and trying to catch lightning from one of the out-of-flavor arms usually just cost money and wins.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            “Were pretty close here.”

            Oh I agree, sorry, didn’t mean for that to come off combative or anything. Just thought I’d clarify a couple of things.

          • Ted Nelson

            I don’t think anyone is advocating handing out a $10 mill deal… Jeff Francis signed for, I believe, $2 mill + $2 mill in incentives. The Yankees apparently didn’t feel like beating that offer. Maybe that’s because they prefer to pay a bunch of money to Millwood, but maybe it’s because they knew there were other options besides Francis in the same salary range. Or maybe they’re eying a trade. Unless he really didn’t want to come to NY, I doubt the Yankees let Francis get away over a mill or so if that’s who they wanted.

            Duchscherer, by the way, made $1.75 mill last season and then didn’t pitch a game after April. Doubt his price has risen.

            Garcia made $1 mill last season. His price is probably up a little, but at 36 coming off a mediocre season… how much?

            So, you’re looking at the $2-5 mill range, probably. Incentives maybe taking it above that, but if those kick in you had some success. 1% to 2.5% of the team budget.

            I also don’t think you’re trying to catch lightning. Just looking for a solid 4th or 5th starter.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Forget who is better, the fact that Mitre and Nova are our 4 and 5 is scary because that means 6, 7 and 8 are kids who may or may not be of drinking age yet.

    We all seem to forget that it takes more than 5 pitchers to get through a season. If anything Milwood will help us as soon as one of our 2 and 1/2 legitimate starters (h/t nomaas) get injured.

    We dont have depth inside OR outside of our rotation. That’s TWO huge problems. Not just one.

    MEMO TO FRONT OFFICE:

    Please start signing starting pitchers. Thanks you.

    • http://twitter.com/themanchine Bruno (The Manchine)

      Exactly why I disagree with this:

      If the Yankees do indeed move Joba to the rotation I wouldn’t at all advocate for Millwood.

      Nova as the #6 would be ideal. CC, Phil, AJ, Millwood, Joba to start the season isn’t the end of the world.
      However, I’m (unfortunately) convinced Joba will not be a starter for the Yanks. He might be on his way to Houston for Wandy. Even with Wandy, I’d still sign Millwood (missing Francis hurts) as Nova insurance and slide Mitre into Joba’s middle relief role.

      • CS Yankee

        It is hard to explain not getting Francis unless the medical records looked bad.

        Is KC getting an extreme bargain or has their GM struck again?

        It seems with Francis hooking up with his former pitching coach that this was likely a deep discount and maybe he seen it as a chance to get corrected to get a bigger payday in the future.

      • Ted Nelson

        “(missing Francis hurts)”

        There’s no indication at all that they “missed” on Francis. Considering the contract he signed, it’s as likely as anything that they didn’t want him.

    • Ted Nelson

      “We dont have depth inside OR outside of our rotation.”

      Untrue. They have good depth at AAA. Noesi, Phelps, Brackman, and DJ Mitchell. That’s very good depth. Between the 3 you’ve got a good chance that one of them gives you something positive in the majors this season. Plus Adam Warren, Banuelos, Betances… the only guy who can’t drink there is Banuelos. Brackman is 25 years old and has been legal to drink since before he was drafted.

      How many teams out there are carrying around 6, 7, 8 proven ML starters in their primes on their ML rosters? The Giants won the WS last season, and Todd Wellemeyer started 11 games for them. Scott Feldman and Rich Harden combined to start 40 games for the Rangers last season. CJ Wilson started more than 6 games for the first time in his career, and Tommy Hunter and Colby Lewis for the 2nd time in their’s.

      • theyankeewarrior

        Oh, I love their MiL depth. Don’t get me wrong. But Nova, Noesi & co. should be competing for our long man spot. They should be competing to be the first ones called up. Phelps, Brackman etc. should be focused on AAA. They shouldn’t be a back-spasm away from being our 4th best option.

        They are already better than our #5 (Mitre).

        So again, lets sign as many SP options for ~2M as we can. With the market the way it is, there’s no way we are going to max out our budget. There will still be plenty of room for the acquisition of a big contract.

        Right now, we’re a couple of sore backs/forearms from having CC and Scranton vs. the Sox. It’s scary.

        • Ted Nelson

          I agree on some points. I’m all for signing at least one veteran. As many as possible may be one or two, because there are teams with immediate holes in their rotations other guys can sign with.

          To your original point, I think that the Yankees’ depth “outside” the rotation is fine. Not great, but fine. Of course I don’t expect all of the AAA and AA guys to have great seasons and warrant call-ups let alone early-ish season starts, but all it takes is a couple.

          “Right now, we’re a couple of sore backs/forearms from having CC and Scranton vs. the Sox. It’s scary.”

          What team isn’t, though? Some teams might have a one-man buffer like a Wakefield or top prospect in AAA, but that’s true about just about every team.

          I could just as easily say that the Sox are a couple of sore backs/forearms away from Felix Doubront or whoever vs. the Yankees.

  • vin

    You know who would be a perfect fit? Cliff Lee. And to a lesser extent, Andy Pettitte.

    / nothing to add
    //still pissed

    • theyankeewarrior

      /with you’d

  • mike

    I’d rather have Millwood over Garcia and over Mitre. If we get Millwood we can move Mitre to the bullpen as the long man.

    Ultimately I’d rather have Wandy since we need more than 1 lefty starter

  • Crosetti32

    Millwood? Mitre? Garcia? Enough already…just throw Joba back in the rotation and see what happens. I’d rather see what the kid can do, as opposed to picking from the MLB discount bin. If Joba flames out as a starter, it’s not like the Yanks can’t go back to Goodwill to fill out the rotation.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      I’ve always been in the “Joba is a reliever” camp. But, given the current situation and options, I’d have to agree he’s a more viable starting option than ever.

      • CS Yankee

        Joba to teh 6th!!!1!! just doesn’t have the same ring, does it?

  • kosmo

    If NY is still kicking the tires on available SPing and that of course seems to be the case, why not go after Carmona ? He´s 26 ,admittedly he´s been erratic at times and has dealt with injuries,but he still is in my opinion the best viable option.Last year he was a very solid SP and for example was certainly better than AJ.
    Carmona has roughly a 7 million per 3 year deal with I believe team options and incentives.NY would be on the ropes for 21 million if it didn´t pan out.It is a bit risky but so was the Igawa signing which was easily twice as much money.Yanks give up 3 OK prospects Cleveland sheds payroll???

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      I think it’s worth revisiting this option. However, given the track records on potential Yankee trades, Cleveland will ask for much more from the Yankees than they would anyone else. For example, the Cardinals or Mariners could probably get him for a bag of balls. While the Yankees will not have to surrender Montero, they would likely be asked for another top prospect or even MLB talent in return.

      • CS Yankee

        If they could get him for Joba, Pena, Liard and Arod’s 700 HR ball we should do this.

      • kosmo

        I don´t think NY would have to give up a King´s ransom.Carmona isn´t in the same class as Lee and Haren .Cleveland doesn´t want to add payroll so I doubt MLB talent in return would be what they seek.As an example Nova ,Stoneburner and Joseph or Adams would be more than enough IMO.

        • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

          A logical person would agree. However, my point is that when it comes to trading with the Yankees, logic always seems to fly out the window unless it’s a player a team desperately wants to shed themselves of. I don’t get that feeling with the Indians regarding Carmona. I do get the feeling that once again, if the Yankees come knocking, they’re going to get greedy. By the way, I for one wouldn’t part with Nova. I think Nova in the long run could be a better pitcher than Carmona.

  • mustang

    Is it even possible to have a posting about the Yankees rotation with out using the name Joba Chamberlain? Talk about over kill.

    • kosmo

      I really don´t know what to make of the current Joba situation so I refrain from offering yet another opinion.Is he going to be traded or start or relieve??? Blah blah blah…

      • mustang

        “Is he going to be traded or start or relieve??? Blah blah blah…”

        Agree. And really it’s an un-winnable argument here:

        1- Joba starts and does well or better = we told you so they should have done this sooner.

        2- Joba starts and does badly= they rushed his development and didn’t know what they were doing.

        NO WAY OUT!

        Meanwhile the drum keeps beating.

    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      You just don’t want people to talk about it because you declared victory when it was announced Joba would be in the bullpen in 2010 and then declared victory again this offseason when they said he’d stay in the bullpen. Alas, there’s always a tomorrow and things can always change.

      I have a pretty strong hunch that if the Yanks had a once top starting prospect in the bullpen named something other than Joba Chamberlain, with Nova and Mitre penciled into the 4/5 slots, you wouldn’t be so against discussion of whether that reliever should be considered for the rotation.

      • mustang

        SOOOO Wrong!

        If you read any of my comments on the Joba situation you would know that from go I didn’t really care if he was in the pen or the rotation.
        I also agree that Joba should be given a chance and that he is a better option then Mitre. However, this obsession with Joba has been going on since the “Big 3″ T-shirt days on until today.
        WE GET IT ALREADY!
        I get the hunch that if it was someone else not name Joba “Big 3″ Chamberlain the drum wouldn’t be beating nearly as hard.

        • mustang

          And like I said above its an un-winnable argument at RAB.

        • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Yeah you always pull that “I don’t have a side in this argument” thing, but you also conveniently are always arguing against the people who want Joba in the rotation and are constantly complaining about those arguments/people. You try to cloak yourself in impartiality but it’s BS, you’ve always argued that Joba should be in the ‘pen.

          mustang says:
          March 29, 2010 at 2:11 pm
          Slowly embracing reality, but in therapy that how it works small steps.

          mustang says:
          March 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm
          So this is how the war ends after being ridiculed in countless threads and comments. The chats of
          B-Jobber wins!
          B-Jobber wins!
          Can be heard in the Bronx.
          LMAO

          mustang says:
          March 24, 2010 at 4:35 pm
          GREAT POINT!!!!!!!
          Didn’t his catcher once say something like ” little shoulder pain tells you a lot” when talking about joba being in the pen. But who is Jorge anyway just a stupid all-star catcher.

          mustang says:
          August 31, 2010 at 10:19 am
          ” The Yankees, it seems, just can’t figure out what to do with Juba Chamberlain.”
          Yes they can he is in THE BULLPEN!

          mustang says:
          November 17, 2010 at 10:34 am
          “River Ave. Blues is through with this starter/reliever debate. ”
          (champagne bottle popped open)

          Without fail, you argue that Joba should be in the ‘pen, and without fail you say something like “well I don’t really care either way, but…” Take a side, stand up for your convictions. Saying, for months if not years at this point, that you don’t have an opinion on this conversation, is pretty cowardly.

          And if you really don’t have an opinion on the matter, pipe down.

          • mustang

            But I don’t have a side and if you find that cowardly then your welcome to your opinion. That’s the nice thing here we are allowed to post our opinions on the topic so no I’m not going to pipe down.
            I do find it funny that the people who DESTROYED the so call B-Jobber or anyone else who didn’t see Joba as a starter last spring are the same people beating the drums. I wonder how the so call B-Jobber would be treated here if the tables were turned.

            • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “That’s the nice thing here we are allowed to post our opinions on the topic so no I’m not going to pipe down.”

              That’s pretty priceless coming from a guy whose raison d’etre is to come around here and complain about how people won’t stop talking about Joba. Apparently, since you don’t have a dog in this fight, all you want is for people to stop talking about Joba, right? ‘I WILL BITCH AND MOAN FOR YEARS ABOUT HOW I WANT PEOPLE TO STOP DISCUSSING JOBA BUT DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT HOW I COMPLAIN.’ Circle of life, pal. The people who discuss Joba have every right to discuss Joba, you have every right to complain about it, I have every right to tell you you’re being insufferable about it.

              “I wonder how the so call B-Jobber would be treated here if the tables were turned.”

              Don’t even pull that with me, I’m the last person who would be treating you unfairly. Let’s not forget when you said “GOD DAMN !!! I just became a big fucking fan preach on brother !!!!! THANK YOU” about me treating the B-Jobbers fairly.

              • mustang

                “The people who discuss Joba have every right to discuss Joba, you have every right to complain about it, I have every right to tell you you’re being insufferable about it.”
                Your right.

                And I don’t think I ever pointed you out directly, but you been here long enough to see how unfair people were towards the B-Jobber.

                “Apparently, since you don’t have a dog in this fight, all you want is for people to stop talking about Joba, right?”

                No. I just think it’s a little repetitive to bring it up very other posting. I like the way this guy put it:

                mike c says:
                January 18, 2011 at 12:59 am
                I’m not sure what this has to do with “minimizing joba’s value”… not every decision the team makes has to do with joba. hopefully you’ll get your wish though, he is our best option at the moment unfortunately

          • mustang

            And on all those quotes you pick out I was just making fun of the Joba starters guys. You know the same way you guys ripped Sherman last spring and the B-Jobber guys very possible chance.

            If people can’t take some ripping when they lose then don’t play the game.

            • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              “And on all those quotes you pick out I was just making fun of the Joba starters guys.”

              I know, I know. You don’t actually want Joba in the ‘pen or have any other feelings about the topic other than wanting the people who want Joba in the rotation to stop talking about it. Got it.

              “If people can’t take some ripping when they lose then don’t play the game.”

              So… Then you do feel like you won an argument, meaning you have taken a side?

              Show me the comments where you talk about this with an even hand, or even the comments where you seem to be arguing, even though you always give the “I don’t have an opinion” caveat, that Joba maybe should be in the rotation. Show me that you haven’t consistently taken one side in this argument while hiding behind professed but transparent impartiality.

              I’d be surprised if you could dig-up one such comment and even if you could, I could counter it with tons of comments with you arguing against the Joba-to-rotation crowd.

              • mustang

                Well I have, but I couldn’t even begin to figure out how to find them. I’m impressed that you found the ones you posted above. But I do believe that Joba is better option then Mitre and probably a better option then that ugly list of free agents. Furthermore believe or not I would love to see Joba make a come back here I like the guy overall and it would benefit the team that I love.

                • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  “But I do believe that Joba is better option then Mitre and probably a better option then that ugly list of free agents. Furthermore believe or not I would love to see Joba make a come back here I like the guy overall and it would benefit the team that I love.”

                  But mustang! Shhhhhhhhhhhh. You mustn’t talk about it.

                  • mustang

                    You ask my opinion and I think that’s about the second time I said it in two weeks so I’m outscored 2000 to 2 but your right I’m now tire of topic. You guys keep beating the drum wish all the best with it.

                    • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                      Ok we have mustang’s blessing everyone, it’s ok to talk about the rotation and whether Joba should be given a shot to crack it.

                      But you’re right, we should talk about that other pressing issue facing the Yankees right now, instead of their rotation issues.

                      (Crickets.)

                  • mustang

                    mustang says:
                    November 17, 2010 at 10:34 am
                    “River Ave. Blues is through with this starter/reliever debate. ”
                    (champagne bottle popped open)

                    Come on dude that one was funny!

              • mustang

                “If people can’t take some ripping when they lose then don’t play the game.”
                So… Then you do feel like you won an argument, meaning you have taken a side?”

                No I don’t.

                • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Sorry man, you seem like a nice enough fellow, but this conversation was not your finest hour. Live and play another day.

                  • mustang

                    Maybe, but then look were I’m at and what I’m fighting about like said un-winnable argument here.

                    You seem nice yourself.

      • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Also, this isn’t a conversation that people around here are clinging to while the rest of the world has moved on. From ESPN.com:

        http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb.....entOptions

        “The team’s best option may be a pitcher that Brian Cashman has already eliminated from consideration, Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain was the product of a lot of justified hype and while his 9-6, 4.75 as a starter in 2009 was considered a disappointment, that was still just about league-average for a starting pitcher (the average ERA of starting pitchers tends to be about four percent higher than league-average). This is one old argument that should be revived — while putting Chamberlain in the bullpen can be justified when you have five solid starters; it’s a different story when you’re seriously considering Sergio Mitre for the rotation. As a starter, ZiPS projects Chamberlain 8-5, 4.19 and a WAR of 1.8. These numbers don’t match Joba’s previous hype, but he may be the pitcher with the best chance to replace Pettitte.”

        • mustang

          Dude, seriously I’m all over the net looking for Yankees stuff and the Joba starter topic gets very little play outside of RAB.

          • http://twitter.com/joero23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            I don’t know where you’re looking but I’ve seen it discussed since the Soriano signing in just about every outlet that I visit frequently, including espn.com (which I don’t visit frequently but it the most mainstream of the mainstream and which I just cited above) and hardballtalk.com (NBC).

        • mustang

          “This is one old argument that should be revived ”

          Tell you something right there.

          Come to RAB

    • Evan3457

      It’s just me, but I can’t get enough arguing about Joba in the rotation. I wish there was a website devoted to just that.

      Well, OK, maybe not.

      But we should keep arguing about it until the Yankees actually do it. Unless he can’t do it because of health. In which case, they shouldn’t.

      Or something.

  • Dumbfounded

    I thought the idea was to acquire a left handed starter to battle
    against the R Sux new power hitters……

    With almost all of the supposed available starting pitchers now signed with other teams, it doesnt seem they are trading away top prospects.

    I am getting very tired of being PATIENT!

    • Ted Nelson

      There’s really nothing to do but be patient in the offseason… It’s not possible to win any games in the offseason.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      With almost all of the supposed available starting pitchers now signed with other teams,
      Many of who were very, very flawed

      it doesnt seem they are trading away top prospects.
      That’s a good thing

  • cranky

    Millwood?
    With Pedro Martinez still available?

    Seriously, Millwood would get banged around in the AL East more than a hockey puck in a Rangers game.
    He shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as “Yankees.”

    Neither Ivan Nova, nor Hector Noesi, nor even Adam Warren would do worse, over the course of 162 games, than the once-good-but-no-longer-viable Mr. Millwood.
    Heck, even a guy named Joba Chamberlain would do better than Millwood.

  • Mark D

    Tiger just let Gallarraga loose, he may be worth a look

  • Preston

    It seems that we have four free-agent options, Duchscherer, Bonderman, Millwood and Garcia. None of these are good options. Personally I think Bonderman and Garcia should not be considered. Not only do they have the ability to really suck, but also a very high probability that they will get injured. Duchscherer is probably the most injury prone. But when he’s pitched, he’s pitched well (albeit in one of the most pitcher friendly parks imaginable with a consistently excellent defensive unit behind him). Millwood while he is most likely to be something varying between slightly above replacement level and mildly offensive can at least be counted on to take the ball every fifth day, and he’s already adjusted to all the perilous pitfalls of pitching in the AL East. If we have the money I’d sign both. Let Millwood, Duchscherer and Nova compete for the two slots, loser is put in the long-man relief role ready to step in if one of the others implode.