In anticipation of the inevitable pipe-dream trade suggestions that will follow the Cliff Lee signing — many of which are already floating through the comments of this very blog — I started working this afternoon on a list of every top-of-the-rotation starter in baseball. Not prospects or solid veterans, but guys who could legitimately step into the Yankees No. 2 spot behind CC Sabathia, filling the spot Lee was supposed to occupy. Phil Hughes upgrades, essentially.
I’m still going through team-by-team, but I paused when I got to the Indians and saw Fausto Carmona’s name.
I hadn’t thought much about Carmona this winter, but the Indians stink and Carmona’s contract is reasonable. Just as I was writing a few sentences about him, Jon Paul Morosi reported that Carmona is generating significant interest.
Back in 2007, Carmona seemed to be on the verge of a big career. Then he came crashing back to Earth with terrible numbers in 2008 and 2009. Last season was a big bounce-back year for him. He’s not a sure thing – Hughes might very well outpitch him next season — but Carmona is owed a little more than $22 million for the next three seasons combined, and that third season is an option year. Given the going rate for pitchers, that’s not bad.
The Indians don’t need a catcher, but they could certainly use some upper-level pitching, and the Yankees have plenty of that. Morosi says the Indians aren’t actively trying to trade Carmona, but they’re willing to listen.
Just a guess, but I’d say he’s a more reasonable trade target for the Yankees than someone like Zack Greinke or Felix Hernandez.