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The inexact science of an unfinished product

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Jan 31, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

At this point, you have to wonder if the have all of the rotation options they’re going to have when camp opens in two weeks. Last week, Brian Cashman left now doubt that he’s still in the hunt — “I need starting pitching,” he said on Wednesday. “That’s what I need.” — but the trade market is surely established by now, and the free agent market is only getting thinner.

Late last night, Justin Duchscherer came off the board, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Orioles.

According to MLB Trade Rumors’ free agent tracker, these are the remaining free agent starters: Jeremy Bonderman, Doug Davis, Freddy Garcia, Rodrigo Lopez, John Maine, Pedro Martinez, Kevin Millwood, Jamie Moyer, Andy Pettitte and Jarrod Washburn.

Ten names, and of those 10, Moyer is out for the season, Washburn might be finished and Martinez hasn’t pitched more than 109 innings the past three years. We all know the Pettitte situation.

Nothing stands out from the past month that might have changed the trade market (making a previously unavailable starter suddenly available). If anything, the market has thinned with Wandy Rodriguez signing a three-year deal with Houston and the Cubs trading away one of their excess starters — Tom Gorzelanny — in a deal with the Nationals.

Cashman says quite often that a team doesn’t have to be built in the offseason. There a few small moves to be made at the end of spring training (it’s not out of the question that a back-of-the-rotation starter could be available at that point) and teams reevaluate themselves in early June or early July (that’s when Cliff Lee was traded last season). The trade deadline, obviously, brings a  ton of movement.

For now, though, the Yankees can hope for a Pettitte return, they can add one of those remaining free agents, and they can keep looking for a worthwhile trade opportunity.

Or they can go into spring training with what they have. They can give A.J. Burnett a chance to rebound, give Ivan Nova a chance to establish himself and give Bartolo Colon a chance to re-establish himself. If that plan doesn’t work, they can try to reload.

It’s hard to imagine the market on May 31 being much worse than it is on January 31.

Associated Press photo

 
 

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68 Responses to “The inexact science of an unfinished product”

  1. Crawdaddy January 31st, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Baseball America’s Farm System Rankings per their 2011 Prospect Handbook:

    1.Royals
    2.Braves
    3.Rays
    4.Blue Jays
    5.Yankees
    6.Reds
    7.Indians
    8.Cubs
    9.Padres
    10.Rockies
    11.Phillies
    12.Dodgers
    13.Twins
    14.Nationals
    15.Rangers
    16.Angels
    17.Red Sox (After AGon trade)
    18.Mariners
    19.Pirates
    20.Mets
    21.Orioles
    22.Diamondbacks
    23.Giants
    24.Cardinals
    25.Tigers
    26.Astros
    27.White Sox
    28.Athletics
    29.Marlins
    30.Brewers

  2. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I’m still not sure why everyone was in love with Duchscherer – 28 innings in the last two seasons – that’s going to be the guy who turns the Yankee fortunes around if Andy stays home?

  3. blake January 31st, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    5th awesome…..SJ said this the other day. Guess his sources were correct. 17th is much more believable on the Sox.

  4. Yankee Trader January 31st, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    From MLBTR & Ken Rosenthal- ‘Will Andy Pettitte sign for Hiroki Kuroda money?”

    That deal was for 12M. Could the deal be structured and announced in such a way as to minimize the 40% hit of luxury tax?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

  5. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Yankee Trader January 31st, 2011 at 3:26 pm
    From MLBTR & Ken Rosenthal- ‘Will Andy Pettitte sign for Hiroki Kuroda money?”

    That deal was for 12M. Could the deal be structured and announced in such a way as to minimize the 40% hit of luxury tax?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    ———————–

    Not sure it’s the money at this point for Andy. And shocking as this sounds – I don’t know that $12 mil would sway him to come back.

  6. Warning Track Power January 31st, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    “Cashman says quite often that a team doesn’t have to be built in the offseason”

    That sentence is perfect.
    I know many Yankee fans that want action now. These same fans think Cashman has not done enough to improve the ballclub.
    Hard to improve a team when the players available are not an upgrade to the team.

  7. ac1 January 31st, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Yankee Trader…. I already went off on how Rosenthal worded that ‘headline’, insuniating that Pettitte was being lowballed because some obscure pitcher in LA got 1/12. You can compare many deals to fit your own opinion.

    At 12 M, Pettitte would be paid more than JJ in Florida, or how bout, hey Burnett sucks and makes 16.5, should Pettitte then get $20M?

    Just annoyed by that article for some reason.

  8. SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Even if they signed Lee, the Yankees still need these things to happen to have a great season:

    1. Andy’s return.
    2. AJ bouncing back and having a better year.
    3. CC staying healthy and effectively.
    4. Hughes’ continued improvement.

    Lee himself could only cover for one of the above things not happening.

    If the above four things happen, they will be able to cover for the fifth spot in the rotation without too much of a problem.

  9. jacksquat January 31st, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:24 pm
    I’m still not sure why everyone was in love with Duchscherer – 28 innings in the last two seasons – that’s going to be the guy who turns the Yankee fortunes around if Andy stays home?

    I don’t think anyone was “in love” with him. It’s just that when he has been able to pitch, he has pitched fairly well. So signing him with low guaranteed money was low risk, potentially good reward. The other options left don’t seem to have the potential upside of Duchscherer (aside from Andy of course).

    He has had problems in several body areas though (physical and mental), so I can’t really blame Cashman for passing.

  10. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 3:31 pm
    Even if they signed Lee, the Yankees still need these things to happen to have a great season:

    1. Andy’s return.
    2. AJ bouncing back and having a better year.
    3. CC staying healthy and effectively.
    4. Hughes’ continued improvement.

    Lee himself could only cover for one of the above things not happening.

    If the above four things happen, they will be able to cover for the fifth spot in the rotation without too much of a problem.

    ———————

    Would you agree with the statement:

    If Andy does not return the most important key in whether or not the Yankees are a playoff team will be how AJ Burnett pitches.

  11. Crawdaddy January 31st, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Without a doubt they need AJ to bounce back whether Pettitte comes or not.

  12. Yankee Trader January 31st, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    ac1-

    Actually my interest is if a deal could be structured with Andy on a one year contract that would allow the Yankees not to take a 40% extra hit on luxury tax this year. 6M this year with a club option for 2012 with a 7-8M buyout?

    Or can the luxury tax only be avoided when a player has an agreed upon extension that isn’t signed and announced until after the start of the upcoming season?

  13. blake January 31st, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    I think the Yankees could overcome another poor season from AJ but him pitching better sure would make it easier.

  14. ac1 January 31st, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Or can the luxury tax only be avoided when a player has an agreed upon extension that isn’t signed and announced until after the start of the upcoming season?

    ___

    Cashman should call Theo and ask him how he keeps getting around luxury taxes and avoiding the rules.

  15. West Coast Yankee Fan January 31st, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    FYI:

    Hardin will not be cross-examining Pettitte, he brought in a lawyer from another firm in San Diego Michael Attanasio to do so; who happens to be a close friend of Kevin Towers by the way. Attanasio represented Towers during the Mitchell Commission’s investigation.

  16. pat January 31st, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Yankee pitchers will be in Tampa on Feb.15th but it doesn’t appear that Andy will be with them unless they move the private signing there…..

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/.....-1.2650669

  17. Yankee Trader January 31st, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    I think the Yankees could overcome another poor season from AJ but him pitching better sure would make it easier.

    ———————————————————-

    They would have to score 6-7 runs in the games he pitches and then shut down the other team when he gets pulled in the 3rd or 4th inning!!!

  18. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    blake January 31st, 2011 at 3:39 pm
    I think the Yankees could overcome another poor season from AJ but him pitching better sure would make it easier.

    ———————-

    I’m not sure.

    Last year it took 3 strong pitchers and Boston falling apart for the Yankees to make the playoffs with bad years from AJ and Javy.

    Take Andy out of the mix and you’re down to two solid guys if AJ has another bad year. Of course if Mitre, Nova, Colon, Phelps, Warren etc – step up and have tremendous years then sure, AJ can flounder and the Yankees can get by.

  19. blake January 31st, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Trader,

    Like last year more or less….I think he’ll be better. I hope so anyway.

  20. Doreen January 31st, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Repost:

    Sorry out all day and trying to catch up, but I couldn’t let the Jorge DH stuff pass:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports…..fPEzQcVi7N

    Jorge was told he’d be the DH, but to prepare as a catcher as usual. That’s as I remembered it.

    ****

    I look forward to murphydog’s take on the Clemens trial; he was a great resource with the Mitchell Report came out.

    However, I gotta say, I will probably be a scarce person in these parts if it does come to a trial. I truly won’t be able to deal with the fallout here.

  21. Doreen January 31st, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Sorry, when I reposted, the link didn’t work. This is regarding Jorge as DH – he was told he’d be the DH, and also told to prepare as usual to catch, back in November.

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports.....fPEzQcVi7N

  22. Yankee Trader January 31st, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    blake-

    I think he’ll be better also, as he was the alltime Yankee leader in poor starts and worse ERA of any Yankee pitcher with 30 or more starts in what-the last 50 years??

    I’ll be extremely happy if the players stay healthy and the starting position players-Tex, A-Rod, Jeter, Posada return to form and Granderson and Gardner continue to improve.

    If Andy returns I think the Yankees biggest challenge will be to have success against the running game.

  23. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Interesting tweet from RAB – With Russ Springer retiring there is not a single active player in baseball who has played for a Yankee team with a sub .500 record.

  24. pat January 31st, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Rob Neyer leaving ESPN. Where he will be going to be announced later this week.

  25. Bryan January 31st, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Just wanted to let everyone know that Terry Francona was on my red-eye flight from Vegas to Boston last night

    The funniest thing was he asked to be bumped up into first class but it was all booked so he was stuck in coach

    Stuck in 2nd place hopefully like his baseball team

  26. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 31st, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    Doreen, I responded to your post on the other thread, so as not to take the topic here.

    :)

    “Rob Neyer leaving ESPN. Where he will be going to be announced later this week.”

    Theo’s personal valet?

  27. pat January 31st, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Chip

    Sub .500 record as a Yankee or overall?

  28. trisha - true pinstriped blue January 31st, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    “Just wanted to let everyone know that Terry Francona was on my red-eye flight from Vegas to Boston last night

    The funniest thing was he asked to be bumped up into first class but it was all booked so he was stuck in coach

    Stuck in 2nd place hopefully like his baseball team”

    :D

  29. G. Love January 31st, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    This time last year on the blog there was a huge Ben Sheets contingent who felt we should bring him in despite the injury questions. Oakland signed him and he broke down.

    I kind of feel the same way about Justin Duchscher. Expecting him to hold down a rotation spot is a big reach with his injury history of late.

    That said, I think the Yankees should have signed more of these lottery ticket types starters than they have to minor league deals with the proviso that they are competing for a rotation spot in the spring.

    While none of them may work out, I’d feel a little better going into the spring if we had signed Bedard, Duchscher, Bonderman and Capuano for instance than just Colon. I realize those guys probably don’t want to compete like that, but we’re talking about a chance to start for the Yankees with your only competition being minor league guys who may not be ready for another season.

    This is why I really believe Andy is returning. The rotation is too naked right now to ignore some of the lottery ticket reclamation project types that the Yankees are ignoring.

    If Andy comes back, the rotation is good. I like letting Nova and the young pitchers all compete for the 5 spot.

    I also think if more than one steps up and AJ takes a step back, it’s a good situation.

    That said, I don’t like going into the season the way we are right now without Andy.

  30. pat January 31st, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Francona has DVT so asking for an upgrade might be for health reasons more than comfort.

  31. GreenBeret7 January 31st, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    pat January 31st, 2011 at 3:55 pm
    Rob Neyer leaving ESPN. Where he will be going to be announced later this week.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    New GM of the KC Royals? Everyone knows that people in his profession know more about baseball and are the most respected and well liked people on earth. Next on that list is Jon Heyman, followed closely (tie) by Ken Rosental and Keith Law.

  32. Doreen January 31st, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    trisha =

    I saw you response. I just sometimes get too emotional and I don’t want to put myself in that spot. I’m trying to learn to back away from conversations that push my buttons. :)

  33. MTU January 31st, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Just a quick drive-by.

    All I can say is that it is about time somebody gave the Yankees credit for their farm system. Overdue IMO.

    AJ has been workin’ hard this offseason to improve.

    Personally, I believe that hard work coupled with a new PC and a fresh season are gonna pay off for him and for the Yankees (fingers crossed).

  34. upstate kate January 31st, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    busy all day w/ end of the month reports

    MLB and the media bear a lot of the responsibility for the PED problem. They turned a blind eye when Sosa and McGuire were in the HR chase. I have to wonder if Bonds would ever have gotten involved if he didn’t see all the attention going to those 2.

  35. YankFanCA January 31st, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    This team doesn’t make the playoffs with Nova and TBD (Mitre?). They should accommodate Pettitte in every way possible. The remaining options are pretty ugly.

  36. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    The Yankee farm system has been getting a lot of credit since early last summer. A lot of guys came back from injury in 2010 and a lot of high upside players had good years.

  37. 108 stitches January 31st, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Nothing has been mentioned about Larry Rothschild’s visit to Burnett’s barn in Maryland to get a head start with ideas of fixing mechanicals flaws to be continued in Tampa.

  38. blake January 31st, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Neyer is leaving to teach sabermetrics at the jr high level…..get Uhm early

  39. metalhoops January 31st, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Try Bonderman

  40. SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    GLove,

    Aside from Freddy Garcia, who I think could be serviceable for 8-10 starts (so could Colon, IMO), I would rather they give Nova, Noesi, Warren and Phelps a shot.

    I know some folks love ” names”.

    However, the above 4 guys have really good arms and are more polished than many casual fans think.

    What they lack is experience.

    I was talking to a GM the other day andvhe was talking about how some teams look for guys that could get them thru the first few months of a season.

    Usuall these are veterans who may only have enough juice to give 50-80 innings before hitting wall.

    To me, if I have kids with live arms, which the Yankees possess, I’d be more inclined to give them a shot.

    Especially since the Yankees have a good enough offense and bullpen to give them enough support to win games.

  41. SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    This team once made the playoffs one year with guys like Shawn Chacon, Aaron Small, TBA as a fifth starter, and an up and down Mike Mussina in the rotation.

    To make sweeping declarations on January 31 is inactivate and premature.

  42. Carl January 31st, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/4r6pmf5

    Chacon pitched a great game also.

  43. randy l. January 31st, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    “To make sweeping declarations on January 31 is inactivate and premature.”

    sj44-

    that ipad is going say something really funny sometime.

    i totally shut off “correct spell”on my mac because i was getting worse results that gb7 with spelling. the words were spelled right but were totally wrong and they seemed to pop up after i reread the text.

  44. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I’m not opposed to giving rotation spots to Nova and Noesi/Warren/Phelps. At least for the first few months of the season. At the very least there would be little or no expectations from the fans/media so there would be relatively small pressure on them to perform at a high level.

  45. blake January 31st, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    They still have CC and Hughes which a lot of teams would love atop their rotations. I really think the Yanks will be ok and I think they are as good as anybody if Pettite returns.

  46. Carl January 31st, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I see so much Aceves in Chacon.

  47. Chip January 31st, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    Freddy Garcia wants the Yankees – do the Yankees want Freddy Garcia:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....um=twitter

  48. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Freddy Garcia wants the Yankees – do the Yankees want Freddy Garcia:

    NOOOOPPPEEE

  49. ac1 January 31st, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I am not going to lie. I like hearing a player say he wants to play for the yankees, in a time where people are shying away because of the media and the expectations. If they can work out a decent salary, do it. We need pitchers. There will be injuries and ineffectiveness and growing pains with the young guys.

  50. 108 stitches January 31st, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    As rosters shake out at the end of March, the possibility exists that a serviceable back of a rotation starter could become available because of a cost conscious team wanting to give a young starter that showed a “lights out” ST an opportunity and with budgetary concerns in mind. Remote but possible.

  51. blake January 31st, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Does Freddy want the Yankees enough to come to ST and prove his worth?

  52. Chambliss January 31st, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    SJ:

    Thanks for talking me back from the ledge. ESPN had me thinking that the season was over.

    Cashman addressed the situation well when he said that Boston probably has the better team on paper, but they don’t give out rings for the best team on paper in January.

    The Yankees will stay in the hunt going into the trade deadline, and they will make a move at that point to bolster the rotation.

  53. The Genius Maker January 31st, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I am not sure why everyone is so interested in bringing in mediocre at best veterans. I would much rather use what the Yankees have. I am fine with Nova in the rotation and if Andy doesn’t come back in time, give Mitre a shot to be give us a 4.50 ERA. I want Nova in the rotation and if Andy doesn’t come back and Mitre doesn’t do well, then bring someone else up. You can always gauge how well the team is doing and decide whether you want to make a move on someone during the season. if we are healthy and the top or one of the top offensive teams then you go grab a top line starter.

    The only way you develop guys is getting them their starts; this is the perfect time to do it. You either get the top guys in the game or you you use your home grown talent. The Yankees should not be getting mediocre players; those folks should be the young guys you are using and testing

    What you have to remember is that the Yanks are good enough to get into the playoffs and in the playoffs, you barely need your 4th starter and you don’t need your 5th starter.

  54. GreenBeret7 January 31st, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    SJ,

    The one pitcher in the upper system that gets little play is DJ Mitchell. He may not be the best overall for the future, but, besides Nova, he has the least amount of innings restrictions. He’s just not a strikeout pitcher. Strictly groundball type. Keeps the ball in the park. I think his hit totals have as much to do with limited infield help. The Yankees have better coming soon, but, Mitchell is no dog. Most importantly, he seems to know how to win.

  55. GreenBeret7 January 31st, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    This is a better rotation than the Yankees started the 2004 ST session with.

  56. blake January 31st, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    The Yankees have no chance because the superimposed images of Adrian’s hit chart over Fenway clearly shows that he’s going to hit 70 homers and 70 doubles. Also its obvious that every other player is going to bounce back and not get hurt.

  57. SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Randy,

    So true! lol

    I think some folks are looking for sure things.

    I think there is a segment of the fan base that truly believes the Yankees should have a 300 million dollar payroll, 8-10 ready made replacements in AAA, and anything less than that is unacceptable.

    Unfortunately, that’s not the way it is in the real world.

    They freak out over Boston’s additions and get swept up over the hype surrounding them.

    The Red Sox had to do something big because they missed the playoffs AND had more holes to fill than the Yankees had to fill.

    If some folks want to believe every Red Sox question mark, and they have plenty, will be answered in the affirmative, and every Yankee question mark will be answered in the negative? I don’t think anything anybody will say on here will change their dim view on things.

    Me? I prefer to let things play out and see what happens.

  58. blake January 31st, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    G. Maker,

    Agree totally.

  59. SJ44 January 31st, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    GB,

    Good point.

    I saw DJ pitch in college. I haven’t yet seen him pitch in the system.

    It is impressive though that he has moved through the system as quickly as he has since the Yankees aren’t always that aggressive with their promotions.

    He is definitely another guy to keep an eye on this season.

  60. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Despite the holes in the team, the Yankees have a really good team as of today. Also, it will be a ton of fun to watch new guys like Martin and Soriano and young guys like Nova, possibly Warren, Noesi, Phelps, Montero. And we all know Cashman is going to pull off some crazy trade before mid-season because, well, it’s destiny for the Yankees to crush Boston.

  61. blake January 31st, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Patrick,

    Yea im as excited for ST as I’ve been in awhile.

  62. GreenBeret7 January 31st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    SJ, 4 levels in two years is indeed impressive. I like others better, done the road, but, he never really gets crushed. Like the others, though, he has limited AAA experience. Whoever his coaches in high school, youth and college ball were, they did a great job in preparing him.

  63. West Coast Yankee Fan January 31st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Jon Daniels (Rangers) on Chris Russo’s show at around 6PM talking Randy Levine for those interested.

  64. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I am so looking forward to seeing Montero get a nice chunk of playing time during the spring, he’s going to be fun to watch.

  65. Patrick January 31st, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Jon Daniels (Rangers) on Chris Russo’s show at around 6PM talking Randy Levine for those interested.

    Should be interesting, Jon Daniels is a really good GM.

  66. GreenBeret7 January 31st, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I like others better, ***down*** the road,

    I seem to have caught the Randy typing disease.

  67. BoJo January 31st, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    I think Randy Levine and the Texas Rangers have figured out a new market and way to sell tickets….WWE crowd and smack talk…

  68. Out Pitch February 1st, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    “Cashman says quite often that a team doesn’t have to be built in the offseason”

    Assuming they plan to build during the season, they are depending upon their farm system or trades. Which desirable pitchers will possibly be on the market come July?


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