The Yankees went into the 2009 season very comfortable with a rotation that included Joba Chamberlain, but a disappointing stretch with a 2-4 record and a 7.69 ERA to end the season the Yankees aren’t as certain going into 2010.
There isn’t even much confidence in Phil Hughes after his poor performance in the playoffs. That doesn’t mean that either pitcher will necessarily pitch poorly next season, but if the Yankees are uncomfortable about a situation usually they spend some money to make themselves feel better about it.
Tyler Kepner of the NY Times suggests that without any huge needs this offseason the Yankees should try to take a chance on the oft-injured-but-overall-good-pitchers Rich Harden, Ben Sheets, and Erik Bedard.
It’s the type of low-risk/high-reward type of deals that the media loves and that the Red Sox tried last offseason. Of course none of the deals the Sox made really made much of an impact and the Yankees should take notice of that. Spending money just because you can doesn’t make a lot of sense and usually you end up with Kei Igawa.
Instead the Yankees should do their homework and check into these guys. If they feel like one of them is a good bet to stay healthy then maybe they can look into making an offer. It doesn’t make sense to sign a guy that should be ready to go in July if you don’t know that it’s a pretty good bet. If that’s isn’t the case they should walk away unless they are offered a very favorable deal.
The problem with this is that the Yankees are unlikely to get much information on these guys that other teams won’t have. It’s going to be hard for them to know for sure that they can get at least 150 innings out of one of these guys without another team thinking the same. In that case, are the Yankees really desperate at dumping even moderately large contracts on any of these guys.
Writing this article I am left wondering, where is Mark Prior these days?