The Yankees have already have felt the sting of a diminished free agent market, and that reality came front and center during yesterday’s press conference. The Yankees needed pitching this winter, but they found a market that offered one appealing option.
“I’ve been pursuing things,” Brian Cashman said yesterday. “But when Cliff made his declaration of going to Philadelphia, all of the inventory that we liked came off the board.”
The Yankees really didn’t miss out on much during their pursuit of Cliff Lee, but when he chose the Phillies, the Yankees were left sorting through leftovers. They were left bargaining with pitchers who offered some possibility but no reliability.
“The remaining inventory that could help us, it’d have to be under the right circumstances,” Cashman said. “Freddy Garcia is a potential guy who could help us, but not one that I was willing to guarantee anything. We’ll see him in the spring and that’s the same with anything else that’s on the board.”
As Sean pointed out this morning, next year’s market isn’t likely to be overflowing with rotation talent either. It’s entirely possible that Cashman pounced on the last viable rotation market we’ll see for a while, and while the trade market is still active, it’s also predictably expensive. Player development remains the most cost-effective way of adding talent, and that makes the success of the Yankees young pitchers pivotal to the not-so-distant future of the franchise.
In one way or another, the Yankees are going to need them.
For now, the team is left with a rotation that’s unquestionably flawed. The real question is, how can the Yankees change that with less than two weeks remaining before spring training.
“It’s obviously one that’s incomplete,” Cashman said. “We’re going to wait and see what we’ve got in camp. There is a comfort level with CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett. And then obviously we have some kids in the system, as well as non-roster invites that are going to compete and take a run at the remaining spots. We’ll see what we see when we get there.
“… Our starting rotation is not where it needs to be right now, but I’m confident that we’ll get it there. I just can’t tell you how long that will take.”
Associated Press photo