Rumors: Yankees Considering Injury Risk Starters

Via Joel Sherman of the NY Post:

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?

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6 Responses to Rumors: Yankees Considering Injury Risk Starters

  1. Susan says:

    I would not take a chance on any of them.

  2. Tom says:

    Like you said if the cost is low, the chances are low but every now and than one can come through. Wang knows the Yanks and they know him, if he has anything left the one thing you know is that he can handle New York. I would take a chance on him and Webb if both him and Wang are willing to sign for a small base but with strong incentives.

  3. Todd says:

    When Chien Ming-Wang was on he was untouchable. I see him as a project like AJ will be but he may be worth a shot in the spring to see what he's developed. I dont see any of the other pitchers making it through the season. Carl Pavano in NY just wont work either. Felix Hernadez has the Yankees on a 'no trade list'. Over 35 starts in a full season I would love to see what numbers Ivan Nova can put up behind CC, Hughes and AJ… and please Mr Pettite, one more year. Keep the search inhouse and make Andy a priority then pitchers 4-5 will be an after thought.

  4. kevin says:

    What I don't understand is why Ca$hman is dragging his feet on Kerry Wood. He was lights out as Mo's set up guy. The White Sox have made him a 2 yr. offer, what is Ca$hman waiting for? He was ready to give Lee $161 mil, now he's going to be cheap with Wood?

  5. @Kevin – he just got burned and heavily ridiculed by signing Nick Johnson. He also signed Carl Pavano.

    Injured players can't help you in the playoffs. Kerry Wood is one of the most injury prone pitchers in all of baseball. He's probably wondering if it is worth it and weighing other options.

    Maybe he's wondering if he should sign Wood or Jenks. If that's the case it makes sense that he doesn't just jump right in and overpay for Wood.

  6. Joe Merrill says:

    While my heart says give Wang a go, I agree that none of these players can be given serious consideration as a solution. I also agree that Cashman has lost his mind if he lets Kerry Wood get away. He was awesome last year, and HELLO!! he was a pretty good STARTING pitcher too!!! Why not give him a try!!!! Also, make it a PRIORITY to bring Andy Pettite back.