Last night, the White Sox stopped shopping John Danks and locked him into a five-year contract. Four days before that, the Reds gave up a truck load of young talent to acquire Mat Latos. One day before that, the Rays signed Matt Moore to an eight-year deal just three regular-season games into his big league career. A week before that, the Diamondbacks gave up a successful first-round draft pick in a trade for Trevor Cahill.
If nothing else, it seems this winter has shown the value of young starters. It’s shown that teams are willing to give them big contracts to stick around, and it’s shown that teams are willing to give up massive amounts of talent to acquire them. Two years ago, the Giants won the World Series on the strength of young, home grown pitching, and it seems the baseball world was paying attention.
So how would you have the Yankees approach this market?
Brian Cashman believes that pitching is the “key to the kingdom,” but he’s seen big money wasted on long-term deals with aging starters. He’s also seen big money wasted on unproven international talent. And although the Yankees have the prospects to trade for an elite young pitcher, Cashman seems worried about losing one or two of his own elite young pitchers in the process.
It’s an awkward balance between proven and unproven, between potential and uncertainty. In Manny Banuelos, the Yankees might have their own Gio Gonzalez. In Dellin Betances, they might have their own Mat Latos.
They might also have another Brien Taylor and another Andrew Brackman.
So if you were Cashman, which path would you prefer? Would you shoot for the stars and try to develop your own, or would you give up future potential for immediate, more proven gains?
Just a quick reminder, I’m hosting a chat today at noon. Stop by if you can.