The Adam Warren Option

The Dog Days
2011 Draft: Yankees sign third rounder Jordan Cote

It seems silly to talk about another starting pitcher when the Yankees already have six starters for five spots, but it’s pretty clear right now that Triple-A Scranton right-hander Adam Warren is next in line should they need someone from the minors. Brian Cashman called Warren “a legitimate starting choice for us right now” minutes after Sunday’s trade deadline, and he was on call last weekend in case Ivan Nova‘s ankle wasn’t healthy enough to start one game in Saturday’s doubleheader. Given his proximity to the big leagues, let’s look to see what he can offer to Yankees.

Warren turns 24 later this month, and everything you need to know about his background and decorated college career can be found in his prospect profile. He signed as a college senior out of a major program in UNC, so the Yankees had no problem sending him to High-A Tampa in his first full professional season in 2010. Warren made 15 strong starts with Tampa (2.72 FIP) before finishing the season with ten starts for Double-A Trenton (2.56 FIP). Between the regular season and playoffs, he threw 146.1 IP in 2010, which was actually down from 154.2 IP in 2009.

The Yankees bumped Warren up to Triple-A Scranton this season after just 54.1 IP with Trenton, a move I thought was a little aggressive. His early-season performance wasn’t all that great. Warren allowed three or more runs in seven of his first eight starts, or three fewer times that he did in 25 starts last year. His strikeout rate has fallen from 22.3% of batters faced in 2010 to just 15.5% this year while his walk rate climbed from 5.8% to 8.6%. According to StatCorner, his swinging strike rate this year 8.2%, which is just a touch above-average for a starting pitcher. Warren’s ground ball rate has gone from 55.1% with Tampa to 48.1% with Trenton to 38.8% with Scranton. All together, it adds up to a 3.95 FIP in 119.1 IP this season.

Baseball America ranked Warren as the team’s 12th best prospect before the season (I had him tenth), saying his fastball sits “90-94 mph with a high of 96” and “late life.” They note that it’s a swing-and-miss pitch because of his command. A curveball, cutter/slider, and “fringe-average at best” changeup round out his repertoire. That last bit is important. Since Warren’s changeup isn’t a true weapon, he’s struggled against lefties. They’ve hit .280 off him with a 33-25 K/BB in 55 IP this year (righties are hitting .226/ with a 46-19 K/BB in 64.1 IP), a similar split to last season. That’s not to say he can’t improve the pitch, but it’s not there at the moment.

Right now, it’s the kind of arsenal that can work at the back of a big league rotation. Warren could be a serviceable option for the Yankees if needed, though he profiles better out of the bullpen, where he could focus on his two best offerings and scrap the miscellany. Perhaps that 90-94 touching 96 turns into 93-95 touching 97 in relief, who knows. Although Cashman referred to the Warren as a rotation candidate “right now” and the Yankees lined him up to start last Saturday if needed, it’s worth noting that David Phelps was ahead of him on the depth chart. Phelps was going to come up and start earlier in the season, but the Yankees (wisely) went with Brian Gordon for the two spot starts instead. Not long after that, Phelps went down with shoulder tendinitis and hasn’t been back since. Warren was next in line. He doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster until after next season, so there’s no urgency to get him on the 40-man roster. For now, he’s the seventh starter, but a good one compares to the other seventh starters around the league.

The Dog Days
2011 Draft: Yankees sign third rounder Jordan Cote
  • Kevin D.

    It is a damn shame that they do not consider Noesi for a start. I am not a fan of the huge drop in innings that the guy has had to deal with when comparing last season to this season.

    • Mister Delaware

      Yeah, I pretty much hate how they’ve managed him this year.

      • Tampa Yankee

        Yeah it’s sucked but he’s served a purpose as a multi-innings guy (Aceves’ old role) and my only complaint is/will be is if he is not given a chance to be stretched out next year in ST and given a chance to start. I mean the kid has show the ability to miss bats and that is huge.

      • craig

        I’m not sure I understand what you’re upset about? He was in AAA and the Yankees needed a guy to fill the “Aceves” role. He got the call-up because he was doing a good job. he has more or less stayed with the club, gotten some MLB experience under his belt, pitched some “hi-profile” innings and is in-line to potentially play a big role in the post season.

        What more do you expect for a guy in AAA? This is his shot and he has done well, made some more money and put himself into the discussion for a bigger role going forward. The minor league teams are there to be used by the big club and Noesi was handled perfectly. They didn’t overreact and overspend to get an old, washed-up guy to pitch those innings…they promoted a guy who earned it.

        Honestly, sometimes the Yankees can’t win with their own fans.

        • CS Yankee


          Noesi can also log more innings in the Fall League, etc.

          Ask him or anyone what their choice would be…
          a) 10-15 innings per month in the bigs where your clock/pension starts & you earn about 60K per month.
          b) Take the ball every 5-6 days, eat fast food on the bus and make about 4K per month.

          No choice really, he’ll learn and make so much more and his innings can come after the season.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    A quick look at the headline and I thought it said “The Allen Parsons Project”

    • JM

      /Dr. evil’d

    • Sayid J.

      Well, at least “The” overlapped

  • pat

    Nova, Noesi, Phelps, Warren, Mitchell and now Banuelos. That’s DEPTH, yo!

    • Pants Lendelton

      Somewhere… Andrew Brackman wonders why he didn’t get invited to the “back end starters” party

      • Crime Dog

        In between posts I think he walked another guy…
        Brackman’s been a disaster and I think it’s fair to consider him a non-prospect at this point.

        • Jobu The Voodoo Troll

          You mean hit another batter. However, there is no reason to write him off yet.

        • Ted Nelson

          He’s been a disaster definitely, but I would still consider him a prospect. He could bounce back from a terrible 2011 in a similar way to how he bounced back from an awful 2009 in 2010. Back then he had the TJS as an excuse (this season people are pointing to a growth spurt… who knows), but there is a precedent of him having a terrible season and then getting it together the next season. I’d certainly agree he’s lost a lot of luster as a top prospect, but I still think he’s got a chance to get it together to at least be an effective AAA pitcher in 2012 and maybe MLB reliever later in the season.

        • K.B.D.

          I remember when people were ready to NP Brackman after his 2009 campaign…

          • nick

            hopefully next year he gains it back. Im a believer that if you do it in AA that you’ve shown enough to be considered in the bigs. You keep giving him a shot and hope it clicks, because if it does, you’ve got a high impact arm. next year is huge for him.

  • China Joe

    The Yankees need to find some kind of Changeup Guru…someone who can teach the changeup the way Don Cooper teaches the cutter. Think of Warren, Hughes and Nova with a changeup…devestating

    • pete


      • Jorge


    • SDM

      They could have CC and Banuelos to teach a change-up seminar

      • Accent Shallow

        Be nice, but I don’t think it works that way.

        Besides, Sabathia’s change is really unconventional: ~5-6 mph separation from the fastball (OK, fangraphs says 7. Whatever. Still small)

    • craig

      The change is a difficult pitch to throw because it is entire feel and you need to trust that you aren’t going to rocked by throwing a pitch 8-10 miles slower than your FB. The mentality of most pitchers is hard, harder, hardest, but the change works the opposite way and will actually make your FB appear faster.

      The other piece is that most of these never had to rely on a change before AA or AAA, and you need to throw the change A TON to get it to react the way you want it to.

  • BK2ATL

    Another one of those good problems to have. I like the idea of going with the young pitchers, rather than rescuing Sidney Ponson, Chad Gaudin or Sergio Mitre or whatever scrap-heap, dead-ender is available.

    The kids breathe more life into the MLB team.

    • vin

      To be fair, you should include Colon and Garcia in your scrap-heap lineup. Of course, I’ll also give you Millwood and Silva.

      • BK2ATL

        Can we really compare Fredy Garcia and Bartolo Colon with the likes of Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin? Mitre was Girardi’s Marlins’ pet. Gaudin??? I have no idea about that one. We can even throw Dustin Moseley into the mix.

        Without question, but Garcia has been pitching fairly well over the past few years. Colon was Tony Pena’s winter league find. Colon came into spring training and won his spot handily. Cashman knew both pitchers KNEW how to pitch and had experienced a great deal of success prior. Big difference from the other 3.

        • jsbrendog

          yes, yes you most certainly have to because they are all scrap heap guys. the only one who might not be included is freddy because he had a lot of success last yr but every other guy you named either sucked, wa sinjured or hasnt had any major league success ever/for multiple of years.

          that is the definition of scrap heap

          • YanksFan

            But there is a difference w/ some of these guys as a mid-season pickup as opposed to having the options of the youngsters already in house.

            Garcia/Colon were placeholders until the youngsters got enough experience in 3A.

            • Sayid J.

              The biggest difference is that some worked and some didn’t. Personally, I’d rather have Garcia, Mitre, Gaudin, Ponson, Colon, Millwood, Gordon, and Silva (sorry if I have left anyone off the list), than have had none of them. Sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss. And when you miss, normally the cost is low enough that it really doesn’t matter.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Since I no longer subscribe to that ‘Yankees paysite owned by fox’ I have no idea what has happened to the progress of his circle change-up.

    You wrote about it in your prospect profile of him “Warren’s best secondary pitch is a strong circle change”. while I’m glad that his breaking pitches progressed and his velocity sustained , I’m wondering how can a pitcher with a low maintenance delivery not have a decent change-up?

  • vin

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the pitching depth lately.

    The Yanks can go into next season with:
    CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova, Noesi, Warren, Phelps, Lendelton, Mitchell

    The depth is young, cheap and rather back-end of the rotation-ish. Obviously Wilson is the best non-CC starter on the FA market next winter. The question is… does Cashman sign him, or give the youngsters a chance? Maybe he digs through the scrap heap once again just to buy some time for the much better 2012 FA class. Of course the other option is use some combination of this pitching depth in a trade for a starter.

    As guys like Karstens, McCutchen, Ohlendorf, Veras, Clippard, Axford, etc. have shown… just because a player doesn’t fit on the Yanks’ 25 man roster, doesn’t mean he couldn’t be valuable for another club.

    • Pants Lendelton

      Freddy Garcia is very close to qualifying for Type B status after this season. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Yankees offering him arbitration and rolling the dice with him again for 2012.

      Colon?… I think he’ll latch on with another team next year.

      • Pants Lendelton

        Html fail…

      • vin

        At this rate, I’d be completely down with re-signing Garcia.

        My plan…

        Re-sign Garcia, pass on Wilson, give the kids a shot if no good trade possibilities open up in 2012 and make a push for Hamels or Weaver after next season.

        That could yield a 2013 rotation of:
        CC, Hamels/Weaver, Hughes, AJ, Banuelos/Nova/Betances/Noesi/Warren/etc.

        That can definitely get it done, especially with AJ being off the books after 2013, thus opening a rotation spot for one of the youngsters, and leaving a good combination of depth AND trade chips.

        Good job by Mike recapping the 2012 FA pitchers:

        • Kiersten

          I like your plan, except go hard after Hamels AND Weaver.

          These are the Yankees, damn it!

          • vin

            While we’re at it, might as well add someone who is left among Cain, Danks, Greinke, Liriano or Marcum. Not really a fan of Sanchez.

            • Jim S

              2013 rotation:

              1) Felix
              2) Verlander
              3) Sabathia
              4) Weaver
              5) AJ

              Because well, we can’t be unrealistic. Everyone knows AJ will still be around.

              • Cris Pengiuci

                AJ will be the 6th starter. Need to add Banuelos in there.

            • Kiersten

              I don’t really get why going after two of those pitchers the year before A.J. comes off the books is such a crazy concept.

              See: December 2008

        • YankeesJunkie

          Agreed. Garcia will not get that much of a raise from arbitration and at worst the Yankees would get a draft pick.

    • Reggie C.

      Wont. Happen.

      The acquisition of CJ Wilson or off season trade rendering a vet starter is a near certainty. The picture will be clearer at season end of course, but Cashman has shown he wants to bolster the Front end of the rotation.

      • vin

        I agree. That’s why I said I think these back-end guys hold trade value… especially to an NL team.

        I’m on the fence as to whether or not the Yanks sign Wilson. I don’t think it will be a sign-him-at-all-costs situation like it was with CC and AJ. I’m in favor of picking him up… it’s not my money after all. But I can see the Yanks saving their money for 2012 free agency (just when AJ has 1 year left on his deal) and using the pitching depth to acquire a quality mid-rotation starter for at least next year.

      • Accent Shallow

        I think you have to trade for a starter in that scenario. I want no part of giving Wilson five years, even if he has cut the walk rate (and upped the K rate) thus far this year.

    • BK2ATL

      After AJ’s flameout, or I guess him pitching to his pre-Yankee career, I’m not in favor of these FA signings, unless it was a surer thing, like a Lee. I wasn’t in favor of the Jimenez trade either. Therefore, count me out on Wilson, if it’s gonna take an AJ-type contract to sign him.

      We have a great opportunity to work the kids into the rotation for the future. It started with Hughes (Joba was a mulligan). Nova WON a spot coming out of spring training, and has performed and competed very well so far this year. Noesi has performed well when giving the chance. Even Pendleton.

      I’m hoping that Banuelos steps up and improves his control issues in AAA. We could use him as our #4 or #5 starter next year, giving us another lefty starter in the rotation, with CC bearing the brunt of the workload and scrutiny.

      A rotation of CC, Hughes, Nova, Banuelos, Warren or AJ would be fine with me. Our offense could overcome mistakes or growing pain. The goal would be to get them experience and see how it goes, and stay very competitive. There’s a strong FA pitching market coming after 2012.

      Let’s see how the rest of this season plays out. I’d rather see us build the rotation internally.

      • John

        You might have your wish – I’m not so sure they go out and get CJ Wilson or make a trade for a Big name Starter. With Banuelos in AAA, depending upon his results he could either start the season in the rotation or be a summer call up to the rotation. Even if Colon departs, we’ll still have CC Hughes Nova and unfortunately Burnett.

        I also see the us looking into locking up Weaver the following offseason. He’s a Boras client and certainly won’t be staying on the Angels. It’s obviously a long ways away, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pursue a CC-Weaver-Banuelos-Betances-Hughes/Nova rotation.

        • BK2ATL

          See, that Boras thing is why I don’t think Cashman would be willing to do the FA starter thing with Weaver. No need to blow another $100 million on a SP, if you have prospects and starting depth.

          That being said, the 2013 FA class will have the likes of Matt Cain, Zack Greinke, John Danks, and Liriano, all under 30 at that time. Dan Haren will be 32. Intriguing.

          We gotta do something with AJ and that contract. Enough is enough.

          • Ted Nelson

            “No need to blow another $100 million on a SP, if you have prospects and starting depth.”

            Except if that starter represents a huge upgrade, which is pretty likely. I want to see them develop good young starters too, but as long as MLB rules are the way they are I also want to see them flex their financial might.

            “We gotta do something with AJ and that contract. Enough is enough.”

            What are you going to do about it? There’s really nothing to do. See if he can get it together or cut him/eat some large portion of his contract in a trade… The chances of voiding the contract, pushing him to retire, or finding a team that will pay for him are really slim. Maybe they find someone who will pick up like $8 mill per season… but they’re probably paying him one way or another.

      • Ted Nelson

        There’s certainly an argument for giving the young guys who are capable of handling spots a chance. However, there’s also the downside of having them fall apart the way Hughes and IPK did in 2008 either due to plain bad luck or not being MLB ready. Banuelos will only be 21 next season with barely any AAA experience… Warren was only drafted in 2009 and hasn’t killed the competition in AAA…. Hughes and Nova have shown flashes and been decent overall, but they are certainly candidates to struggle.
        Not to say these guys can’t all go out and get it done, just to say there’s a high risk they won’t. And I don’t see why guys like Banuelos (especially), Warren, and Noesi have to get MLB innings to develop and are incapable of developing in AAA.

        That AJ Burnett hasn’t worked out does highlight the risk of giving out big contracts, but it doesn’t mean CJ Wilson or any other free agent is doomed to fail or the Yankees shouldn’t throw some money at them. So long as they aren’t giving up prospects in a trade, they’ll still have the exact same young depth you’re talking about behind any veteran they bring in.

        “or I guess him pitching to his pre-Yankee career”

        Not at all. Two worst healthy seasons since he turned 25 are easily this season and last season.

        “Even Pendleton.”

        The same Pendleton who has walked over 6 per 9?

        • BK2ATL

          We all know and acknowledge that Hughes, Joba, and IPK were rushed into MLB.

          Hughes had a pretty decent year in 2010, nonetheless, in his first full season as a starter. No matter what, 18 wins still says a lot. His last start vs. Chisox, he looked back in form.

          Joba, well, another story that I don’t want to get into right now. Either way, he’s had opportunities repeatedly, and for whatever the case, IT hasn’t happened yet.

          IPK was given a short lease in the Bronx. He went out to the NL West and his stuff plays better out there. Best of luck to him out there. If he stayed in the Bronx, I don’t know if he’d be any better than Fredy Garcia pitching right now.

          I’m sure that Cashman is getting ALL of the scouting reports on Banuelos, and even went to see the kid pitch on Tuesday with his own eyes. I have faith that Cashman KNOWS what he’s doing with the kid and how they will plan to use him, IF Banuelos continues to improve. I’m sure they will and are working to correct whatever they’ve spotted. Some time with Rothschild in the Bronx will probably help the kid as well.

          If Nova, Noesi, and Warren have shown success at AAA, I’d prefer to give them the first shot at an MLB opening, than going outside of the organization. So far, Nova and Noesi AND Pendleton have performed more than adequately in their brief MLB stints. Warren, it appears that he will also get a shot this year.

          AJ Burnett was a reach when we got him and we overpaid to get him. We didn’t have any other options (MLB-ready prospects) at the time and SP desperation. The only other candidate was Derek Lowe, who Atlanta have been trying to get rid of since they signed him too. Neither one warranted the money they ultimately got that offseason. It was a poor SP market after CC. This is why I hope that we don’t get locked into another one of those “reach” contracts with a CJ Wilson.

          Pendleton pitched well while he was here, even for a couple of garbage time innings. I don’t think anyone projects him to be a SP in MLB.

          • Ted Nelson

            My point wasn’t about how all of these players are being handled individually so much as that there is no reason to blindly favor internal options over external options. I hope all the young guys develop too, but that doesn’t mean they can’t sign pr trade for veteran pitchers they feel represent good value.

            “AJ Burnett was a reach when we got him and we overpaid to get him.”

            I wasn’t particularly happy with that deal, but in saying he’s performed to his career #s you are just wrong… it’s a fact that he has not. The numbers are what they are. They were better, now they are worse.

            “This is why I hope that we don’t get locked into another one of those “reach” contracts with a CJ Wilson.”

            Every pitcher who gets a big contract is not a “reach.” Wilson doesn’t have a long track record, but since going to the rotation in 2010 he’s been the 12th most valuable pitcher in baseball according to fWAR:

            I have no idea how CJ Wilson’s next 5 or so years will go, but the guy absolutely deserves a fat contract based on his performance.

            “Pendleton pitched well while he was here, even for a couple of garbage time innings. I don’t think anyone projects him to be a SP in MLB.”

            A. He didn’t pitch well. He walked 6.43 per 9, K’d 5.14 per 9, gave up 1.29 HR/9, only 20 % ground-balls… his BABIP was .190 and his LOB% was 87.2%. His ERA was good, but he didn’t actually pitch well.

            B. You listed him and said he did well… I did not introduce him into the conversation.

    • Ted Nelson

      An interesting thing to me is that the most important depth is probably just a little bit further away in Banuelos and Betances. Whether it’s a young guy or a scrap-heap veteran, one or two guys in the 2012 opening day rotation might just be keeping their spot(s) warm for half a season.

  • David, Jr.

    I have seen Warren twice. He isn’t as good, obviously, but he is kind of like Hughes. He is scouted that his change is nothing more than a waste pitch. What happens is that, armed with that info, the hitters rarely look awkward against him. That puts extreme pressure on his fastball location. He has a very good fastball, and if he learns a real change he will be quite good. I am thinking ideal trade bait, given that at least Nova and Noesi would be ahead of him.

    • LeftyLarry

      I don’t think Noesi is much more than we are seeing, a long reliever but a very good one, whereas Nova & Warren have true starter stuff.
      Noesi throws an AJ Burnett like very hittable, pretty straight 93 MPH heater.
      Warren has more upside, especially if he can develop the change under Major League Coaching.

    • LeftyLarry

      I don’t think Noesi is much more than we are seeing, a long reliever but a very good one, whereas Nova & Warren have more movement and true starter stuff.
      Noesi throws an AJ Burnett like very hittable, pretty straight 93 MPH heater.
      Warren has more upside, especially if he can develop the change under Major League Coaching.

      • David, Jr.

        I disagree. I like Noesi better than Warren, and at least as well as Nova. Excellent secondary pitches, very good command. Watch him.

  • Tom from GA

    CJ Wilson? meh. I don’t pretend to know what Cashman is going to do, but I like how he’s protected the young assets and stockpiled depth. If Garcia and Colon are still around next year or if they go with young kids, fine, let’s see how it works. Paying big dollars for a new version of AJ Burnett? Well, if that’s what the Yanks choose to do, I’ll root for them, but I’d prefer to eat the local vegetables.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Paying big dollars for a new version of AJ Burnett?”

      How are CJ Wilson and AJ Burnett comparable? I’m honestly wondering why a lot of people seem to have decided the guy is going to fall apart over the next few years.

      • Jim S

        Fear of big money pitchers under-performing. AJ’s just the current example.

        Not agreeing with them at all, but I’m pretty sure that’s why they compare the two.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah, I see the risk… but CC, Halladay, Lee, Verlander, Haren, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Pedro… there are also pitchers who get paid big money and do well.

          Not responding to you so much as the masses, but in an efficient market there’s a relationship between risk and reward. Ideally you’re paying certain players big money because while the money causes a big risk (less so for the Yankees than probably any other team) there is also that huge potential reward.

          • Jim S


          • Cris Pengiuci

            However, the market isn’t efficient, due to the lack of high-end talent. CJ Wilson has had a good couple of years. No real track record to go by. He could continue doing well, despite being a bit older than we’d like, due to his late start, or he could fail, due to either age or just a regression to what he really is. No way to know until it happens.

            For the right money and years, I’d be for him. I’d hate to see a 5/90 contract though. Too much risk in my uninformed opinion.

            • Ted Nelson

              I’m not saying that CJ Wilson is a no-brainer or will be a great signing… so you don’t have to argue agaisnt that point. What I am saying is that teams will take a greater risk on CJ Wilson than many other players because there is reason to expect a greater return than many other players. On the other hand he will most likely get less than CC, for example, because there is reason to expect a greater return from CC.

              No real market is totally efficient. Not even theoretically… markets have to find an equilibrium by people getting ripped off and others getting great value. Economics is about trends and tendencies and the margins… it’s not an exact science.
              My point was not that every MLB player falls exactly on the risk/reward line, so again you are wasting your time arguing against a point I did not make. My point is that there’s a trend towards the players with the highest perceived potential pay-offs getting the most $.

              The risk/reward trade-off still exists. CJ Wilson will make more than a lot of guys because they have a much more marginal chance of being good then him. You can argue against CJ Wilson… but let’s look at his actual performance and not just how many years he’s been doing a certain job.

              “No real track record to go by.”

              Because he was in the bullpen (same goes for guys like Kenny Rogers and David Wells…). It’s not like he was pitching poorly in the rotation. Track record does help you predict future performance, but if CJ Wilson had 5 good starting seasons under his belt it wouldn’t necessarily make him any better a pitcher today or sign this offseason as with 2.

              His track record is 1.66 seasons, 12th highest fWAR among MLB pitchers.

              “No way to know until it happens.”

              How would more years of track record change that? It wouldn’t. CC is fat, has tons of miles on his body, and will get old over the course of a long-term deal… should the Yankees let him walk instead of taking the huge ~$25 mill per risk? CC has a long track record, and that’s still a question. There’s always a risk involved in signing players, and that’s exactly what I said in the first place. My point is that as the 12th most valuable pitcher in baseball since 2010 started according to fWAR… there is a huge potential pay-off with CJ that’s fairly likely to happen.

              • Cris Pengiuci

                Not sure there’s a huge potential payoff (and I’m not arguing against you, just making some finer points). There is a potential payoff if he continues as he has over the past 1 2/3 seasons. It may not be huge, due to the contract he’s likely to command (due to market inefficiencies since there are so few top-end starters coming to the market). I’m not against the signing of Wilson, just not “all in”. We’re pretty much on the same page with him.

                If Ubaldo Jimenez pitches to his last few seasons (regresses to what he was before this year), that may be a huge payoff since his contract would then be below market value. However you also have to take into account what was given up for him and how they pan out (which cold be nothing or a couple of Hall-of-Famers. Only time will tell.).

                • Ted Nelson

                  Yeah, I agree that we’re pretty much on the same page.

                  I meant a huge payoff in performance (not value), which merits the pay-out in $. That theoretically a team feels like they’re getting the same or better value giving CJ Wilson, say, $15 mill per as some lesser pitcher $1 mill or $5 mill or $10 mill.

  • Jerome S.

    Question: ceiling on this kid? Stats sound good/great, but judging by the lack of a changeup, hype, and age, I’d say he’s roughly a number 3 starter at best, no? Just wondering.

    • vin

      Yeah, I think with his current repetoire, he’s a #3 at best in NL. If he improves his changeup, I don’t see why he can’t be a #3 in the AL. I have to think that velocity can work in the bullpen should his changeup never develop.

  • Accent Shallow

    It’s tough to be excited about Warren at this point — high H/9 at AAA, with a K/BB ratio of <2?

    Maybe in 2012 or 2013, but not now.

    • vin

      In his last 10 starts, 7.95 h/9, 2.82 ERA, 6.46 k/9, 2.65 bb/9.

      As Mike mentioned above, Warren rushed through AA and got off to a rough start in AAA this year. Since then he’s settled in. Make no mistake, he’s not the second coming of Hughes, Joba, or even IPK… but he definitely figures to have a solid big league career.

      • Accent Shallow

        Sure, but that’s a pretty lousy K-rate in AAA.

        • vin

          Which is why I don’t lump him in with the Hughes, Joba, Kennedy.

        • Ted Nelson

          You don’t have to strike a lot of guys out to be an effective MLB pitcher. No one is super excited about Adam Warren, just view him as a solid back-end candidate. If you look at guys like Nova and Noesi, they weren’t striking out many MiLB hitters either.

          • Kosmo

            Noesi milb career 8.6 Ks per 9.

            • Ted Nelson

              In AA and below… Warren’s K/9 in AA was 9.77.

              Noesi struck out a ton of guys in A-ball, but in AA he was below 8 and in AAA he was below 6.

      • David, Jr.

        The thing about him is that I would rather try to teach somebody a change than teach him a 95 MPH fastball, which is trying to teach somebody to hit a 325 yard drive, which you can’t do. He has the hard part, so he could improve very fast.

      • Kosmo

        he´s not the second coming of IPK ,Joba, or even Hughes .

  • Smallz

    This might be blasphemy to say as a “Yankees fan” but I dont see the yankees as a “win now” team. Theyre like 20 championships ahead of every other sports franchise. We get it, they win. Alot. I am all for letting the kids win some rotation spots in 2012 and then if it doesnt go so well, feasting on the 2013 free agent market. This is the best time to do it. CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova and Warren/Phelps/Banuelos? Youve also got some solid prospects in A and AA if you really need a pitcher for the playoff run at the end of the 2012 season. CJ Wilsons a nice pitcher but why cant we just field a team of guys who we produced? Just one year. If it flops then we all know that the farm will be blown up and the checkbooks will open for Hamels and Weaver. Just like 09.

    • BK2ATL

      I’m in agreement. We can stay competitive while letting the kids play. Our offense just about guarantees it.

      I’m all for Posada retiring and bringing up Montero as a backup C/fulltime DH/backup 1B role to keep his bat in the lineup. If he improves behind the plate, great. Nunez to continue his apprenticeship behind Jeter. Laird to battle Chavez for the other bench role.

      Pitching-wise, Nova, Noesi, and hopefully Banuelos can be added to the mix, with Warren lurking.

      We have trade pieces available in abundance. We should use one to get a real LOOGY. I would also like another LHP in the rotation, if Banuelos isn’t ready.

    • CS Yankee

      They need reliability…CC with AJ, Hughes, Nova & a few kids won’t cut it. The Hughes/Joba/IPK (not all three at Opening Day, but still) deal was painful in ’08.

      If they can get CJ for 4/60M$, they have to do it. If he ends up with a 5/90…I would run away and play for 2013’s FA’s.

      Likely that one of the old dudes (Colon/Garcia) will be around in 2012, which I think would be good insurance. One unproven arm is wise and should help the long-term goals (young/cheap/reliable), but two or more is looking for trouble.

      • Jorge

        Freddy Garcia – not that old.

      • Ted Nelson

        I agree with you that they’re probably going to hedge their bets and not rush in without a back-up plan.

        However, a major difference between 2008 and now is depth. When Hughes and IPK both faltered in 2008… the Yankees were scrambling. With no changes the Yankees would go into 2012 camp with AJ, Hughes, Nova, Noesi, Warren, Phelps, Banuelos, Betances, Brackman, Mitchell, Stoneburner, Marshall, Pendleton, and Hall all in AA or above. Most people seem to assume they’ll re-sign CC.

        A legit veteran #2 would be great, but I don’t think the Yankees are lacking for serviceable depth the way they were in 2008. The catch 22 with signing someone is that if CC, AJ, Hughes, and Nova all lock up rotation spots (/AJ is handed one due to his contract…), there’s no room in the initial starting rotation for any of Noesi, Warren, Phelps, Banuelos, etc. Not a bad problem to have, but something to think about.

        “One unproven arm is wise and should help the long-term goals (young/cheap/reliable), but two or more is looking for trouble.”

        How would going into camp with the same four guys (CC, AJ, Hughes, and Nova), young prospects, and a couple of non-guaranteed guys in 2012 be any different from 2011?

        I agree about the risk to a degree, but I don’t think the Yankees are looking for trouble with all the depth they have. If someone falters there are more guys right behind him.

        I would definitely be interested in CJ Wilson, but if they don’t sign him I’m not worried about having too many question marks going into the season. There are so many question marks that chances are high a few will be positives. Worst case if not is a mid-season trade.

  • Jorge

    Wilson will probably cost more than he’s worth in years, which would potentially make for the type of marriage you can’t escape from if it goes bad (sadly, see “Burnett, AJ,” who I still like very much.) He also may be good “opt out” insurance for CC.

    I agree that this all is a very good problem to have.

  • Gonzo

    I always thought he could be the elusive heir to Mo.

  • JamesT

    In general, I like the direction that Cashman is taking the team. Our farm system is finally starting to blossom under his stewardship… this youth movement could lead to another renaissance like we had in the 90’s.

    We do need to get rid of the deadwood though. I’d like to see them eat a good deal of AJ’s contract and trade him. Also, I wish Posada would just retire and we could bring Montero up. But I realize that’s not happening, so they should be clear with him that this is it, his swan song and he won’t be coming back next year…

    If he performs well in AAA and gets his walks down, bring Banuelos at the end of August so that in case he excels, he’ll be available for the post season roster. He could be that #2 that we’ve been searching for!

    If he’s posted, I’d like to see them make a strong play for Darvish.

    And yes, we need to get a good Loogy.

  • 28 this year

    BTW, for all the AJ trade proposals, not only do you have to eat a lot of money and get little return, you have to somehow get him to waive his NTC. I believe he has one and frankly, that is a big obstacle because I doubt AJ wants to leave or will leave without even more compensation.

    • BK2ATL

      Pull a Charlie Sheen and put the extra money on the counter on AJ’s way out the door.

      Look, where’s Kei Igawa been??? So, it shows that we’re capable of eating a bad contract. Let’s not stop now.

      AJ “did” his job in 2009. Unfortunately, it wasn’t on a one year deal. He’s our version of Carlos Zambrano, less the explosive temper.

      There’s gotta be a way out of this nightmare. It’s bad when it’s pretty well acknowledged that our post-season rotation would and should be


  • Andy

    “Wisely” went with Gordon??? More like worst move EVER. The problem with the Yanks is they never trust their prospects, if it is two starts, challenge a guy who has some potential. IT IS TWO STARTS! GIVE YOUR GUYS A CHANCE!! They’ll never prove themselves if you don’t give them a shot! Terrible, terrible move, and HAD to hurt morale, no matter what they say. Remember Gerritt Cole, the number one pick in the draft this year? He said the main reason he didn’t sign with the Yanks was because they didn’t trust their prospects and just used them as trade bait. Fair or unfair, that perception got a whole hell of a lot worse, especially with the media rightfully bashing the Yanks for the move…

    • Jim S

      More depth > less depth.

      It’s not that complicated. Gordon cost us almost literally nothing.

    • Ted Nelson

      Way out there. You’re twisting the circumstances around quite a bit.

      It was wise because he was a pass-through on the 40-man roster. Guys like Phelps and Warren not only had limited AAA experience, but were not on the 40-man. Once you put a prospect like that on the 40-man you’re not taking him back off… because doing so exposes him to waivers. Gordon was doing better at the same level as those guys, and could be cut at any moment (or sold to Korea) if it didn’t go great, thus preventing someone else from getting cut (which would be necessary to protect a Warren or Phelps).

      It was also a wise move because Gordon wasn’t in the organization previously, so by adding him he joined the Phelps’ and Warren’s and Noesi’s of the world as Yankees. He converted to pitching late, had just converted to starting, and was having a lot of success in AAA. Worth a look. Does well, you got an asset you didn’t have. Does poorly, cut him/sell his contract.

      The Yankees give their prospects chances… Nova, Hughes, IPK, Joba, Cano, Wang, Gardner, Melky, Russo, Nunez, Pena, Pendelton, Noesi, Cervelli, Dickerson… all getting of have gotten chances in the very recent past.

      “Remember Gerritt Cole, the number one pick in the draft this year? He said the main reason he didn’t sign with the Yanks was because they didn’t trust their prospects and just used them as trade bait.”

      Source? Everything I’ve heard/read is that the reason he didn’t sign because he came from a wealthy family, wanted to go to college, and his dad and he calculated that he might actually be better off financially by going to college and pitching well.

  • bpdelia

    Whoooaa. . . I have literally NEVER ONCE heard that explanation of the Cole non signing. Gerrit COle is rich, he had a scholarship to a great school and supposedly he was/is an extremely confident (cocky/arrogant) guy who was convinced he was the best pitcher in the country and figured he would be a top3 pick if he went to college.

    I have no idea where you got that little story. If it’s true I apologize but you gotta link and source that dude. That’s a new one.

    Preferably you better link and source it from back then because even if he said it NOW I don’t care. Thats hindsight. I care about what he thought THEN.

    Also the whole yankees don’t trust their prospects stuff MUST DIE.

    Thats funny cause last time I checked JOba and RObertson were both integral parts of the rotation. They have a prospect starting at 2b, lf, UTil, BUC, long reliever, spot starter, #5/6 starter. Etc.

    It’s patently untrue. And demonstrably false.

  • ajra21

    not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but there is a contradiction between this article and the scouting report:

    “Warren’s best secondary pitch is a strong circle change, and he’s toyed with both a curveball and a slider in the past.”