I think this week is when Mike Mussina will officially retire and maybe when the Yankees will come to a deal with Pettitte. The big lefty said Friday night he wants a one-year deal and he doesn’t want to go anywhere else. So give him a little pay cut (say to $12 or $13 million) and get it over with.
The Yankees need Pettitte and two more starters if you ask me, and nobody did. Then you get a rotation like so:
1. Big-ticket free agent (Sabathia)
2. The Wanger
3. Fairly big-ticket free agent (Lowe or Burnett)
Now before you get in a tizzy over Joba being the fifth starter, consider that his innings will be limited. They will have to skip him once a month at the very least to accomplish this. That is what you do with your fifth starter. Once the season starts labeling the starters is a useless exercise anyway.
This will allow them to start pick somebody decent (Alfredo Aceves, say) as a long reliever and to start Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy in AAA. Once somebody gets hurt (and somebody always gets hurt), you have Hughes, Kennedy, Jeff Marquez or whoever ready to fill in.
The Yankees need to insulate themselves now as best they can. Otherwise it’s another June phone call to Sir Sidney.