Dave Eiland referred to Chien-Ming Wang as the No. 3 starter in a story Pete Caldera did for The Record. Labeling starters is a fruitless exercise. But it’s further evidence of how little respect the Yankees give Wang.
The Yankees took Wang to arbitration last year to avoid paying him an extra $600,000. And now Eiland is dismissing him as a No. 3 starter. Memo to Eiland: Wang is 46-15 with a 3.74 ERA since the start of the 2006 season. Burnett is 38-26, 3.94. Wang’s career ERA+ is 117. Burnett is at 111.
Wang is a better pitcher than Burnett. Plus it could make a lot more sense to put him between Sabathia and Burnett to give teams a different look rather than using two power pitchers in a row.
In time, people will figure out that Wang’s sinker makes him the exception to the idea that a great pitcher has to strike a bunch of guys out. If the Yankees don’t, another team will once he becomes a free agent.
As was first reported in The Journal News and on this blog, the Yankees are prepared to move on without Andy Pettitte. Newsday and the Post have reported the same thing. After stretching their budget for Mark Teixeira, several sources said the Yankees reached their limit for free agents.
The wild card is sentimentality. Pettitte is held in high regard by many within the organization and ownership could simply add another $10 million to the payroll for Pettitte.
Bernie Williams is making a comeback in the Puerto Rican winter league and is 1 for 6 with two strikeouts in two games. He hopes to play in the WBC. … Speaking of the WBC, Kevin Youkilis has committed to Team USA. That likely means Teixeira will not play. The Yankees would be happy to hear that. Teixeira is a notoriously slow starter (.256 in April) and they would like to see him get him get used to the pinstripes.
General managers never put down the BlackBerry for long. But baseball is on a holiday break.
MLB’s main office in New York is closed and every team (even the Yankees) has closed up shop through Jan. 5. There could be a transaction or two, but it’s unlikely that much action will go down.
Most of the beat writers are on vacation as well. So don’t expect much for the next week or so.