But I do know one scenario the Yankees are considering is to try to pluck a veteran starter with good stuff but questionable health and have him pitch as long and as hard as he can with the idea that someone from this group of nine could tag-team the season if, for example, the veteran starter could get only to June. The best pedigree of one of the broken-toy free agents is Brandon Webb, but I have heard the Yankees don’t like him all that much. Others in that group are Brad Penny, Jeff Francis and Chien-Ming Wang.
It makes sense that the Yankees would like these type of starters. None of the free agents currently on the market are really elite pitchers and with so many strong pitching prospects in their system they don’t want mediocre pitchers blocking their way.
The thing is that these pitchers are risks for a reason. They’re coming off of serious injuries. Penny is the only one Sherman named who isn’t coming off a shoulder injury. Shoulder injuries are nasty stuff and a lot of times pitchers are never the same after them. It is possible that neither Webb, Wang, or Francis ever have another successful year again.
Because of this the Yankees are likely not going to commit a lot of money to any of these pitchers. They may prefer a minor league contract in every case similar to the one Mark Prior just signed. If these players insist on a guaranteed major league deal, especially in Webb’s case where he may even want a few million, it is likely they will pass. Only if they really believe that the pitcher could stay healthy would they make an exception.
I don’t have a lot of faith in any of these pitchers having good seasons, even for a few weeks. Maybe Penny only because he hasn’t had to deal with a shoulder injury, but even still he hasn’t had a good year since 2007 and has had terrible recent performances for the Boston Red Sox.
Which of these pitchers would you take a chance on?