The remaining pitching market


If the Yankees don’t make a move for a pitcher this off-season, it won’t be for lack of options. To this point we’ve seen two free agent signings, an NPB posting, and two trades involving pitchers who would represent an upgrade to the Yankees. Perhaps they think that the prices to acquire these pitchers does not match the upgrade they’d receive, but the opportunities are there nonetheless. Brian Cashman figures to have a few more chances to upgrade later this winter, as there are a number of actually or reportedly available pitchers.

Hiroki Kuroda

In terms of pure results, he’s the best available arm. His 3.31 ERA since 2009 ranks 23rd among all qualified starters. Even better, he’s reportedly seeking a one-year contract at a reasonable $12 or $13 million. The Yankees have been frequently connected to Kuroda, and it stands to reason that they’ll remain involved until he does sign somewhere.

While he does have the top results, there are some downsides to Kuroda. For instance, the hitters on the Rays, Orioles, Red Sox, and Blue Jays are better than those on the Padres, Rockies, Giants, and Diamondbacks. The AL East also features more hitter-friendly parks than the NL West. Then there’s Kuroda’s age, 37. A one-year deal helps limit some of that risk, but if he shows decline in 2012 he might not present much of an upgrade.

Wandy Rodriguez

Not far behind Kuroda in terms of results is Wandy Rodriguez. The Astros shopped him at last year’s trade deadline, but the Yankees weren’t interested unless Houston paid a significant portion of his remaining salary. He’s owed $36 million for the next three years, because his 2014 option becomes a player option if traded. That makes him much less attractive, meaning Houston will have to kick in some cash if they want to trade him. While they showed reluctance earlier in the off-season, they now appear willing to make that trade-off.

Not only does the NL Central have a number of top-flight hitters, but none of them actually play for the Astros. That is, Rodriguez has the burden of facing all of these elite hitters. The closest they ever had was Hunter Pence, but he wasn’t even a top-five hitter in the division. That does make him look a bit more attractive. He also has fewer pitchers’ parks in the division. Yet the Yankees appear not at all interested. That’s probably because of the commitment length. Were Rodriguez signed only through 2013 they might be more on board. But three years to a pitcher you’re not totally sold on? While Rodriguez might help, it’s understandable why the Yankees are shying away.

Roy Oswalt

In the last three years, despite multiple bouts with lower back injuries, Oswalt has accumulated a 3.46 ERA in 531 innings. All told that’s a pretty solid accomplishment. Since we just discussed Oswalt yesterday there’s no need to elaborate further. He remains a tantalizing yet risky option.

Gio Gonzalez

There has been no shortage of Gio Gonzalez news this winter. The A’s seem pretty intent on trading him, and judging by how slowly they’re moving they’re also trying to extract every last drop of value from another team. This makes complete sense. Gonzalez ranks 39th in ERA among all starters from 2009-2011, despite his horrible 2009 showing. He’s been among the best in terms of results the last two seasons. Even when you look at only his away stats, he still fares pretty well: 3.96 ERA in 238.2 innings since 2009. That takes away some of the concern that he’s the product of a large ballpark.

The Nationals were rumored to be pushing hard for Gonzalez, offering up a four-for-one trade that will involve prospects Brad Peacock and Derek Norris, among others. Still, four-for-one deals can get complicated, since they typically lack top-end quality. Today on, Jim Bowden suggested a few trades for Gonzalez (subscription required). For the Yankees he suggests Dellin Betances, David Phelps, and Austin Romine. Since Gonzalez has four years remaining of team control, this could work out for the Yankees. The only catch: Oakland might find a better package, and one that fits their needs better, elsewhere.

Matt Garza

Garza represents an interesting option, if only because he’s experienced success in the AL East. But the Cubs are apparently asking for a lot. Would the Yankees be willing to trade Banuelos and at least one other top-five prospect (Gary Sanchez or Mason Williams), plus other pieces, to get the last two years of Garza’s pre-free agency years? It seems unlikely. While he’s been good, he might be a bit more expensive than other pitchers. If he costs more than Gonzalez, he certainly isn’t worth it.

John Danks

You can check out our large and growing John Danks archive for various takes on the 27-year-old left-hander. He’s an enticing option for a few reasons. He’s been solid for the last four years, he has AL experience and in a hitters’ park no less, and he is conceivably someone the Yanks could sign long-term after the 2012 season. The issue, as with Garza, is that the White Sox are asking the moon for him. It’s simply not worth a top-five prospect for a player who will reach free agency after this season. At a price more commensurate with his overall value, Danks could be the best target on the board.

Edwin Jackson

A free agent, Jackson requires just one resource to acquire: money. The Yankees have that in abundance, though they’re seemingly not throwing it around this off-season. They might also be reluctant to sign Jackson for four years. As with Oswalt, we covered Edwin Jackson recently, so there’s no need to dive any deeper into his case. He’s there for the taking and could represent an upgrade in the Yanks rotation.

That brings us to a dozen candidates who could have upgraded, or still might upgrade, the Yanks rotation in 2012. All of the candidates, save for Darvish, have sported ERAs under 4.00 since 2009. They’ve all thrown a good number of innings, and everyone on the list, save for Oswalt and maybe Latos, has been relatively healthy. If the Yankees are serious about upgrading their rotation, they’ll connect on one of these 12 options, even though there are just seven remaining.

Categories : Pitching
  • Behind Enemy Lines

    “if [Kuroda] shows decline in 2012 he might not present much of an upgrade.”

    This is the most insightful statement.

    Oswalt seems like the best bet, even on a two year deal, if necessary. Get whatever you can out of him, and break in Banuelos/Phelps/Warren when you can’t. He might give you something great and if not he gives cover to the kids. They’ll be filling in for Roy Oswalt. Who expects anything, no matter the prospect status, under those conditions? Then if Oswalt is as good as he can be, you have a legit #2. No one else on this list offers that.

    • steve (different one)

      Then if Oswalt is as good as he can be, you have a legit #2. No one else on this list offers that.

      Garza?? Danks?

      Did you mean to say “legit #1″? I think everyone on this list, except for maybe Wandy, has the upside of “legit #2″.

      • Behind Enemy Lines

        No, I meant what I said. Here, by career ERA+

        Oswalt: 133
        HKuoda: 114
        JoDanks: 111
        MGarza: 109
        GioGon: 106
        Wandy: 102
        Jackson: 97

        That’s a 2, followed by 3/4, then 4/5. Of course, Gio and Danks could become more but as good as Os is unlikely.

        • Gonzo

          I wish it were that simple.

          Oswalt ages 23-29 (7 seasons): ERA+ 143
          Oswalt ages 30-33 (4 seasons): ERA+ 117

          • Ted Nelson

            I wouldn’t waste your time.

            • Gonzo


          • Behind Enemy Lines

            At his best he’s a 2. I don’t think you can legitimately say that about anyone else on that list. Danks is the closest, obviously.

            • Ted Nelson

              There’s not a single guy on that list who hasn’t pitched like a #2 for a prolonged period. You’re delusional if you think Roy Oswalt is only a #2 at his best and those other guys are not #2s. What on earth is your definition of a #2? Anyone who isn’t a top 5 starter in baseball?

              You are honestly going to sit here and argue that any of Nova, Hughes, AJ, Garcia, Noesi… are better than those guys? They all have the potential to be, but they are not as likely as the guys on that list… who perennially perform as front-end starters.

        • steve (different one)

          That’s a 2, followed by 3/4, then 4/5.

          You are vastly overrating the definition of #2 starter.

          An ERA+ of 133 is not a #2 starter. It’s a #1 starter.

          An ERA+ of 133 is good for 30th ALL TIME. I am not saying Oswalt could do that now, in the AL, but I am saying only 30 pitchers in the HISTORY OF BASEBALL (and one is Mo) have bested that mark over 1000 innings. To call that a #2 starter is absurd.

          Just as saying that next group consists of #3/4 starters is equally wrong. An ERA+ of 114 is absolutely a legit #2 starter. Again, not saying Kuroda could do that in the EAST, but your bucketing is way off.

          Zack Greinke has a career ERA+ of 114. According to you, he is a #3/4 starter?? Beckett is only at 115. Hell, Nolan Ryan was only 112.

          • Plank

            Nolan Ryan would put you in a headlock and pummel you if he heard you say that.

          • Plank

            Oh yeah. You’re totally spot on about all that stuff, too.

          • thenamestsam

            Thank you. When I see names like Danks, Garza, Kuroda and Gio called #4 starters I think people have lost their minds. They may be that going forward (after all there are no guarantees), but those guys have pitched like studs in the last few years.

            • Craig Maduro

              Let’s split the difference and call most of them No. 3 type options.

              • Behind Enemy Lines

                Bingo. 3/4 I mean they can go either way.

              • Ted Nelson

                That’s still ridiculous. If you’re a top 20, top 30 starter in MLB you are not a #3.

                • Craig Maduro

                  There are a lot of different ways to compile a top 20 or 30, but the only guy that I like from that group to fit the profile of a No. 2 starter moving forward into the near future is Garza – and that’s only if he maintains the improved K/9 and GB numbers. I like Gio too, but he needs to trim the walks as we all know.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    If the way you use is fWAR… rankings 2010 + 2011:

                    23. Edwin Jackson
                    24. John Danks
                    30. Roy Oswalt
                    37. Gio
                    38. Garza
                    40. Kuroda

                    • Craig Maduro

                      Well I don’t consider either one a sure-fire No. 2 starter so that’s probably not the way I’d go. Oswalt has definitely been top-of-the-order material over his career, but I’m concerned with his age and health (as we all are). I like Garza, but as I mentioned one comment above, I wanna see the K/9 and GB% maintained in 2012.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      With all due respect, I’ll take their recent performance aver your gut feelings. Obviously we differ there, though.

          • Behind Enemy Lines

            Yes, Greinke is a 3. He’s always promised another gear but hasn’t been consistent. Have you seen Beckett recently? Nolan Ryan is vastly overrated. He was good not great.

            When I said Os was a #2, that’s his ceiling. His career though is of course a 1. He’s not that now though. He’s in a vastly different league than the rest. He may turn out best or worst, but that was my original point.

            • Craig Maduro

              See, I would consider Greinke firmly entrenched in the No. 2 starter class – at worst. If all things were equal I’d take him over any trade target that we’ve discussed this offseason – Gio, Danks, Garza, Floyd, etc.

            • steve (different one)

              When I said Os was a #2, that’s his ceiling. His career though is of course a 1. He’s not that now though

              Agree with this. Thanks for clarifying. The way you were using career numbers confused me.

              I do think you are selling Garza and probably Danks a little short, but we can agree to disagree.

            • Jim Is Bored

              Oh dear God you think Greinke is a #3? Maybe on the Phillies.

    • Gonzo

      Oswalt is interesting. I wonder if he would want to move to the AL let alone the AL East.

      Do the Cards have a spot open for him?

      • Dan

        The Cards would probably be a good spot for him, though I am not sure if Dave Duncan will still be there next year and that might play a role. Also, the Cards might want a less injury-prone starter with Wainwright coming off an injury.

        If I am the Yankees, I would target Oswalt more than Kuroda because they can afford to take a chance on a pitcher that might not be able to make every start with the depth that they have in AAA.

        • Gonzo

          My question is, if he had a comparable offer from another club, would he want to go to NY?

          • Dan

            He might choose NY as long as he was guaranteed a spot in the rotation (which is a big question if AJ isn’t moved and AJ, Hughes, Garcia, and Nova all pitch well in ST while Oswalt bombs). I think I read on here that he has pitched well in interleague, so I think he would be fine with pitching in the AL East. He would be with a contender, so it gives him a chance to pitch in the post-season. Also, one advantage to choosing to play in the AL is you don’t have to bat as much and for a guy with back problems he might like not having to worry about swinging the bat and running the bases as much.

            • Gonzo

              I wouldn’t if I were him, but I’m not him. He grew up in Mississippi, played the bulk of his career in Houston, all of his career in the NL, and he is trying to have a good year to build up his value. Why change things up if they’ve always worked?

              I’d be shocked if it wouldn’t take a much bigger offer to land him in NY. Who knows though. I could be way off.

              • Dan

                That makes sense, but he came up north to pitch in Philly. I don’t think it would be that much of a stretch to see him move to pitch in NY. St. Louis might make more sense for him if they have an opening in their rotation, also Dave Duncan tends to get the most out of his pitchers so his stats should improve and help his next contract. I think whoever gives him the biggest contract should get him. If I were the Yankees I would offer a one-year deal with a 6 million dollar base salary and enough incentives to get him up to around 15 million based on starts/wins/k’s

                • Gonzo

                  I don’t think they can give out incentives on W’s or K’s. Not 100% sure though.

                  An incentive laden deal might be a good way to approach him though.

                  • Dan

                    You are right on the K’s because of this rule:

                    As Major League Rule 3(b)(5) says: “No Major League Uniform Player’s Contract or Minor League Uniform Player Contract shall be approved if it contains a bonus for playing, pitching or batting skill or if it provides for the payment of a bonus contingent on the standing of the signing Club at the end of the championship season.”

                    Wins might not meet that criteria, but if it does you could use Games Started or Innings Pitched.

                    • Gonzo

                      How cool would it be if they used a “saber” argument against W’s being a pitching skill!

                      The Yankees could offer a W’s bonus and totally justify it. LOL

                    • Gonzo

                      Gotta close the italics. oops

            • Ted Nelson

              Good point about hitting and possibly aggravating the back. Hadn’t thought of that.

              • Dan

                Yeah, though pitchers can aggravate injuries doing anything. Colon last year hurt himself covering first. It just seems like if he could get out of the NL and avoid having to come up to the plate 2-3 times per game and swing the bat and run the bases, it might help him stay healthy.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Agreed. I don’t know anything about the nature of his injury or what aggravates it (and I also don’t know anything about how much Oswalt enjoys hitting), but could be a consideration. Interested AL GMs are probably trying to sell it as one, anyway.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Please get one.

  • TogaSean

    My opinion, the best scenario here is sign Oswalt to a 1 yr deal for whatever, say 12-14 mil… sign Ejax to a 3 yr deal, then trade AJ to a team and pickup whatever necessary money wise to make it happen. This way we surrender no prospects, only money, and ditch AJ in the process, while using some of AJ’s savings on Oswalt/Ejax.

  • CJ

    I would make Bowden’s deal in a minute for GIo. Gio is better than Garza and Banuelos and Mason plus could get it done. I like Danks a lot, the price does have to come down. No way on Wandy. Doesn’t sound like Kuroda wants to come to NY, any hesitation there is a deal breaker. Pass on Oswalt’s back, ,don’t need another question mark in this rotation.

    • steve (different one)

      I would make Bowden’s deal in a minute for GIo.

      Agreed, and I think the Yankees would too. Would the A’s? So far they’ve asked for Montero + Banuelos/Betances….there is a pretty big gap between those two groups, IMO…

    • Behind Enemy Lines

      Except Gio isn’t that good. If he prove me wrong this year, you can always trade Banuelos and Williams for him. Except you shouldn’t.

  • Ted Nelson

    “Perhaps they think that the prices to acquire these pitchers does not match the upgrade they’d receive”

    Seems pretty likely. If they thought the upgrade was worth the price, they’d probably pay the price.

  • homerpaloozaJon

    Is Maholm still out there?

    • David, Jr.

      I believe so. He is who I was thinking of. Left handed, not many home runs, pretty decent last year with a horrible team. We could do worse.

  • Gifted Tha Go Gitta

    Get rid of AJ and minimize Freddy… then throw Dellin and Manny into the deep end of the pool.

    • Behind Enemy Lines

      Too soon. You don’t want the spotlight on them.

    • mustang

      “then throw Dellin and Manny into the deep end of the pool.”


      • Rainbow Connection

        I hope it’s not Mariano’s pool.

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I maintain that Kuroda, now amended to Kuroda or Oswalt, on a one-year deal is the best choice. Yanks don’t lose prospects, but get a solid contributor for a year while allowing the prospects an extra year before they’re fully relied on and allows for the franchise to evaluate the hopefully-better 2013 pool.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, I agree. 2012 chances of success are in the same range as the rest of the group, but the relative cost much lower.

    • mustang

      I’m actually starting to warm up to this it can be argued that Kuroda or Oswalt would be a upgrade/equal to Colon. They definitely have a bigger upside.

      The only thing that worries me is that I think the 2013 pool is going to be a lot thinner then people think, but worry about that then.

      • Ted Nelson

        And as far of the 2013 pool, part of the Kuroda/Oswalt argument is that the Yankees might not need to wade into the 2013 pool if they find 3 or 4 SPs to complement CC among their own guys. Give the kids time to develop (till trade deadline, till next off-season, till a starter becomes available at a reasonable price), and then re-evaluate the need for reinforcements.

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          How awesome would that be?

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    IMHO, its all about the Yankees believe in their prospects. If they believe in them and feel the asking price for Gio and Garza are way too high then go for Oswalt or Kuroda. I like Oswalt over Kuroda with a 2 year deal or one year with player option in the second year.

    If we are bolstering the value of our prospects then I try Betances, Romine and Phelps for Gio. Try not to give up on Williams or Banuellos I prefer Gio over Garza wild lefties are scary good at times.

  • Matt DiBari

    I’m just not sure what Jackson offers beyond what we already have. He has no real track record of success.

    • Ted Nelson

      Is this a serious comment?

      Jackson has averaged 3.7 fWAR the past three seasons, and is 29 next season. The only non-CC SP who touched that mark even once for the Yankees was Pettitte in 2009.

      • Matt DiBari

        If Edwin Jackson goes out there next year, getting paid Boras prices over four years, and gets the results he’s gotten any year of his career other than 2009, its going to be of very little consolation to me what his FIP was or how unlucky he is or how it must be all the defense’s fault. Or how many innings he gives me for that matter

        He’s an average pitcher that’s going to be paid like a good pitcher for a long time. We have plenty of people who can potentially do what he does for a lot less.

        • CMP

          Edwin Jackson is ranked 19th in WAR among starting pitchers for the last 3 seasons ahead of guys like Shield, Price and Danks.

          He is WAY better than a league average starter and should the Yankees chose to sign him, he would be easily their 2nd best starter behind CC.

          You can make a case that Boras is going to ask for a long term big money contract that’s not worth paying but that’s a lot different than saying he’s average or not any better than what they already have.

          • Craig Maduro

            I’m also a fan of his raw stuff. I still expect him to take a step forward.

        • Ted Nelson

          It’s not about FIP or luck. He’s kept his ERA under 4 for two of the past three years.

          • CMP

            Agree 100%. I think most on this site tend to underrate him.

    • Craig Maduro

      I like Jackson. Not beyond three years though and probably not at the Boras price. I still think there is some ceiling that he’s gonna reach, but the clock is ticking.

  • mustang

    Good read and I totally agree, but then again I’m also a Yankees fan.

    • Rich in NJ

      They can have any non-Montero package. His bat is as important to this team going forward as Hernandez’s arm, especially when you factor in their respective dollar cost given their apparent intent to reduce payroll, the need to begin to line up replacements for the aging/declining core bats on the team, viewed in the context of the the limits the new CBA has put on their ability to procure young high-end talent.

      • Craig Maduro

        I could not agree any more with this. I’ve been saying/thinking the same thing about the offense for at least a year.

      • Plank

        What would a non-Montero package look like? Saying you would trade for Felix without giving Montero is the same as saying you wouldn’t trade for Felix.

        • thenamestsam

          Not that I want to get involved in more Felix talk, since it won’t happen, but it’s just so much fun. I’m not saying they’d accept it, but something like Gardner, Nova, Banuelos, Williams is a good deal for both sides and probably where I’d draw the line. Felix is awesome, but he’s not so young anymore, and his contract is escalating to the point where it doesn’t offer insane value anymore.

          I mean that trade saves them basically 50 million over 3 years. They take that money and sign (I know these guys already signed, all of this is hypothetical anyway) say Willingham and ARam. Now instead of Felix they have ARam, Willingham, Gardner and Nova for next year, with no salary increase either long-term or short-term. They’re better next year for sure. In the long-run it hurts that they lost Felix, especially if they think they can resign him after 2014, but if either Banuelos or Williams pans out (or Nova blossoms) they’re going to get a ton of value out of 6 cost controlled years of those guys. I don’t see the downside in that trade for them. Maybe I’m not being objective, but I did my best.

          The Yankees then sign Beltran to play LF, all the fans calling them cheap are silenced by the 30M in payroll they just added, and, of course, world domination is achieved.

        • Craig Maduro

          Maybe Felix won’t be in pinstripes in 2012.

      • mustang

        This is where the Montero train goes right of the track!!!!!

        ” His bat is as important to this team going forward as Hernandez’s arm,”

        JUST WOOOOOW!!!!!!!

        I’m sure the kid might turn out to be a great hitter, but making this statement right now is be on crazy.

        • mustang

          I’m sorry but great minor league numbers, one good September and great projections DOESN’T EQUAL a MLB proven top 5 ace pitcher.

          NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!!!!

          No matter the future cost

          • thenamestsam

            Really, no matter the future cost? You obviously don’t mean that since I’m pretty sure if was Montero or Felix at 50M a season, we’d all agree on Montero. At the current price I’d prefer Felix, but I don’t think it’s the kind of slam dunk worth losing your mind over. For what Felix is making the next 3 years yould could have Buerhle for 4 basically. Would you rather have Montero for 6 years and Buerhle for 4 or Felix for 3?

            I still go Felix, but you just cannot compare the value of two players without comparing the cost–it’s a meaningless comparison. The comparison isn’t Montero vs. Felix. It’s Montero and the player that 60 million dollars buys you vs. Felix.

            • mustang

              Problem is that your basing your comparison on the projections on someone who is still basically a prospect. While I have 7 MLB season top 5 ace.

              Félix Hernández 7 years MLB top 5 ace + future $$$ does not equal Montero’s projection + savings.

              Felix wins not even close.

              • Ted Nelson

                It all depends how you project Montero. I can certainly see Montero projecting close to Felix, especially if you’re using him as a C.

                • mustang

                  The problem here is that people are taking projections and making them into future facts. No one knows what Montero is going to be they can only predict what he might be. Felix is an ace that is a fact.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Felix has been an ace, that’s a fact. That he will be in the future is a projection. He’s less volatile than Jesus, but P get hurt all the time. It’s a risk to hold onto Jesus over Felix, but also a risk to trade a potential once in a generation hitter for the 5-10th best pitcher in baseball.

                • mustang

                  “especially if you’re using him as a C.”

                  I’m not.
                  It doesn’t exactly give me confidence when I watched Austin Romine fresh of the plane replace Montero at catcher during the middle of game. The Yankees been hiding Montero’s lack of defends from day one.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    They’ve been hiding his C defense by playing him at C his whole MiLB career? How does that work?

                    I don’t think he’ll necessarily C either, but I’m not the Yankees.

                    One way or the other Montero is a very valuable piece. I would probably trade him straight up for Felix. Combined with 3 or 4 other valuable pieces to reel in Felix? Probably not.

        • CMP

          Montero would have to turn into a Miguel Cabrera or Ryan Braun for that statement to be remotely close to being true.

          I love Montero as much as the next guy but that’s an awful lot to expect.

        • Craig Maduro

          It’s obviously crazy to compare Montero to Felix one for one, but I agree 100% with where he’s coming from. The Yankees have internal options to address the weakness in their pitching staff over the next few seasons. They don’t have internal options to address the upcoming offensive issues that will arise over the same span.

          Maybe I’m thinking too far into the future, but that’s what I do.

          • mustang

            No disrespect to you and I understand the theory, but no. Yes, you are thinking too far into the future that’s the problem with whole thing.

            BTW the budget thing too far I will wait until the Yankees pass (due to $$) on a free agent MLB star that they truly need before I start believing in the strict Yankees budget.

            Rafael Soriano $35 million!!!!! And wasn’t even a need.

            • Craig Maduro

              I don’t think people have really taken the time to look at the “arch” – for lack of a better term – that the Yankees’ offense is taking. We could easily be on these message boards in a couple of years begging Cashman for a big bat in the middle of the order if they trade Montero.

              I’m drowning in the Montero Kool-Aid right now. Can’t deny that, but I think moving him in a trade would be robbing Peter to pay Paul.

              • mustang

                Ok, disagree but fair enough.

        • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

          I tend to gloss over anything that involves Felix Hernandez on the Yankees.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think Felix is overrated at this point. He’s a top pitcher, but he’s plateaued for three seasons now and he’s expensive. Part of what made him such a ridiculously valuable player two or three years ago was that he was so young and cheap, one had to assume he’s continue to improve and be simply the best pitcher in baseball still cheap. Hasn’t really happened, though. He’s great, but not as great as people expected he might be. Still very young and could improve a whole lot in his late-20s and 30s, but the trend line is flat right now and he’s very expensive.

      He’s still very valuable, but the days of being able to say the Ms could never trade him even for every prospect in Team X’s system? Those days are over. I don’t know what the Ms will or won’t do, but his value isn’t what it was a couple of years ago IMO.

      • Rookie

        I agree with everything you said — except that it looks to me, based on last year, like he’s either injured, in decline, or bored out of his mind. He had a 3.91 ERA in the second half last year — although for the year he actually did pitch better on the road (a 3.28 ERA).

        Still, I wouldn’t want to give away the farm counting on a bouncebak year from King Felix.

        I think the Mariners may actually have missed their optimal window for trading him given the ugly trend and that the gap between his value and his compensation has narrowed as much as it has. Then again, it seems you can always count on at least a few GMs to be oblivious to the numbers and buy/trade into the journalistic hype. I just hope it’s not the Yankees who do it.

  • Rich in NJ

    Since the trade targets will probably be too expensive, I think the key is to find a one year option (hoping that Hamel or Cain will become available as a FA after the season), while subtracting AJ. That’s why Kuroda seems to make sense. If Oswalt checks out physically (iow, their doctors think he’s a reasonable risk), he’s a viable one-year option as well.

    If not, then I would hope that Noesi can be given a chance to beat out AJ.

  • Dropped Third Superstar

    Give Aj away to save about 6-8 mil by eating some money on his contract and sign oswalt and kuroda to 1 year deals.
    Cc, oswalt, kuroda, nova, hughes/noesi
    This keeps the farm intact and is no threat to the 189m mark in 2013. Get it done cash!

    • Scott

      So they just re-signed Freddy NOT to put him in the rotation, you think?

      • Craig Maduro

        Make him compete.

        • Plank

          I would think Garcia has earned a spot more-so than Hughes. Definitely more than Burnett, but the money says he’s in the rotation.

          • Craig Maduro

            It’s four mil for one year. You don’t give him that just to discard him, but shit, if someone looks like a better option, $4 million doesn’t guarantee you a rotation spot.

  • CJ

    Mlbtraderumors reports nationals discussing Brad peacock and derk Norris plus for gio Gonzalez. Seems like peacock is not as good a prospect as banuelos but better than betances. Norris compares to romine with more power low average. It seems like montero and banuelos are better than prospects like latos trade but there is a gap between top 2 and the rest of yanks prospects.

  • Cy Pettitte

    My favorite option: sign Kuroda/Oswalt on a one year deal.

    Re-assess at the trade deadline, if they need another pitcher or the Sox price drops to something reasonable then get Danks. Asking prices are ridiculous now, no way you can give up 2 of Manny/Dellin/Jesus if you want a $189mil payroll.

  • Scott

    Sign nobody because I don’t see any room in the rotation; anyone think I’m missing something?

    - CC/Garcia/Nova are 3 spots all set.

    - Burnett and Hughes both will get a shot (I’d love to dump Burnett but that won’t happen).

    - When/if Burnett or Hughes fails, give Phelps/Noesi/Warren a shot (or if it’s late in the season, one of the Bs) — any one could be worse than Kuroda etc, but also could be (a) better or at least (b) just as good with years of cheap salary.

    • Craig Maduro

      Hypothetically, let’s say they sign Oswalt and Kuroda on one year deals.

      CC, Oswalt, Kuroda and Nova are locked in as far as we would be concerned. Let Hughes, Burnett, Noesi and Garcia compete for the fifth spot.

  • Stu H

    AJ Burnett for Wandy Rodriguez? 2/$37 for 3/$36.

    • Craig Maduro

      I thought that too, but what happens if Wandy becomes as big of a disaster as Burnett?

      • Plank

        That would be very difficult. Burnett has really been one of the worst full time starters over the past 2 years.

        • Plank

          Also, why would the Astros want Burnett?

          • Craig Maduro

            I don’t know why they would want Burnett. They probably don’t want any piece of him. Wandy is overpaid, perhaps, but he’s at least solid.

      • Robert

        At least A.J only has 2 years left.

  • Doc Holliday

    We need to get somebody. Will Nova repeat? Phil can’t as has been shown the last two years. Garcia’s a year older. Burnett needs to be traded for anyone that will take him and we’ll eat 3/4 of the salary. We lost out on the best two this offseason just like we lost out on Cliff Lee and just like we lost out on Doug Fister. These moves have led to our demise the past two seasons so hopefully Cashman has learned something.

    • Craig Maduro

      I wouldn’t lose sleep over Doug Fister. I don’t remember exactly what package the Mariners received, but seem to remember people had a pretty high opinion of it. I don’t think fans would be happy about trading a similar package for a No. 3 starter when similar caliber pitchers were about to be (and still are) available.

  • mustang

    Taking everything into account (trade cost, $$$, experience, commitment years, etc.) I say:

    1-Roy Oswalt

    Out of the 1-year guys I like Oswalt over Kuroda.
    Out of the tradable Danks would probably be the best as far as cost.
    As for Jackson I just wouldn’t like the commitment years and price that he will probably get.

  • Tom Zig

    Just say no to Roy Oswalt.

    He has 2010 Javy Vazquez written all over him.

  • wel you know

    Jair Jurrjens is available:

    “The Atlanta Braves made a run [at Adam Jones] this month, offering second baseman-outfielder Martin Prado, starter Jair Jurrjens and, eventually, a pitching prospect, and the Orioles didn’t bite.”

    Yanks probably don’t have an outfielder the Braves would want.

    • Jesse

      Not sure if you forgot or not, but there was a proposal floated around that would’ve sent Swisher and Nunez to ATL for Jurjjens (and I believe Prado), a deal that isn’t that great for the Yankees to say the least.

      • well you know

        Yes, the report around the time of the GM meetings of the Braves’ alleged interest in Nunez sparked a good deal of Jurrjens (and Prado) discussion. This report makes more concrete that the Braves are trying to shop the two together are are looking for an outfielder in return.

        Cashman probably feels somewhat burned by the Braves. There’s really no reason to sign Nakajima unless Nunez is traded but I wouldn’t expect it.

  • CMP

    I’d take Oswalt of Kuroda on a one year contract. Oswalt may have a bad back but he pitched pretty well the last 2 months of the year and his velocity was good during those months.

    Either one could not possibly be worse than Burnett.

  • bonestock94

    I’m so scared of EJax. I also feel a trade for Gio or Danks would end up being stupid for the Yankees.

  • Rookie

    Kuroda looks like the best option by far to me. Oswalt’s splits last year were REALLY ugly.