10 Free Agent Pitchers the Yankees Could Sign

I’ve done this before and it was pretty popular and the Yankees are once again in the market for starting pitching so I’ve identified 10 starting pitchers that are on the free agent market that they could be interested in signing.

  1. Yu Darvish (Rangers won exclusive negotiating rights)- He seems to be the favorite of some. He has both high end potential and won’t cost the Yankees a draft pick as he is not a Type-A free agent. The posting fee will be excessive, but it won’t count toward their luxury tax. What’s to lose for the Yankees if it will only cost them money?
  2. C.J. Wilson – (SIGNED with Angels for 5-years and $77.5 M)Seems to be the consensus as the best American free agent starter. However there are some flags here as he has very little experience as a starting pitcher and has had the benefit of one of the best defenses in baseball in that short time. He wouldn’t be a bad bet though if he wasn’t expected to cost upwards of $100 million.
  3. Roy Oswalt – The biggest question here seems to be health. He was limited to 139 innings this season due to a back injury that had him talking about retirement. The next biggest issue, how will he adjust to pitching in the AL for the first time in his career? Biggest pro is probably that it won’t take a huge multi-year deal to land him.
  4. Edwin Jackson – The Yankees kicked the tires on trading for him at the deadline, but decided that he wasn’t worth the prospects. Now they can have this Type-B free agent for just cash. Still just 28-years-old, he has become one of the more consistent pitchers in baseball averaging 200+ innings in each of the last four years with a 4.06 ERA.
  5. Mark Buehrle (SIGNED with Marlins, 4-years, $58 mil) – In the past has seemed dead set on only pitching in Chicago or St. Louis so there might be reason to think he would not sign with the Yankees. However, he is a model of consistency and control. He has thrown at least 200 innings in 11 seasons in a row with a BB/9 of just 2.0. He’s also a solid fielder. If he willing to sign at reasonable dollars he could be a nice pickup for somebody.
  6. Hiroki Kuroda – He was a target of the Yankees at the trade deadline, but with a full no trade clause he refused to leave Los Angeles. Can the Yankees even convince him to come to the Bronx? Hard to say, but one a one-year deal he could be a solid pick up to solidify the middle of the rotation.
  7. Erik Bedard (SIGNED with Pirates, 1-year, $4.5 mil) – Bedard had a decent season after missing all of 2010. He still dealt with a few injuries, but nothing major. When he is healthy, he is still very effective. He had a 3.62 ERA in 2011 with a 9.0 K/9. Doesn’t seem like a fit with the Yankees, but he could be the best of the risk/reward pitchers this offseason.
  8. Rich Harden – Still strikeouts a ton, but still can’t stay healthy. If he can’t find a guaranteed contract elsewhere, it seems likely that the Yankees would be interested in giving him a non-guaranteed deal. His 4.79 ERA over the past three seasons does seem alarming though, but that could be due to injuries and inconsistent playing time. He’ll be 30 at the end of the month, maybe with age he will eventually turn the page with the injuries.
  9. Paul Maholm – Still just 29, the former first round pick is intriguing. Although I don’t exactly see a fit as his stuff might get knocked around in the AL East and the Yankees seem to have enough young arms capable of what he can do. Still, I won’t rule him out.
  10. Chien-Ming Wang (SIGNED with Nationals for 1-year, $4 mil)- This ex-Yankee fan favorite actually had a decent run at the end of the season putting up a 3.71 ERA over his final nine starts. Still, it doesn’t seem likely at all that the Yankees would be interested as his stuff still hasn’t returned to his pre-2008 injury days. It could be that he just needs more time to get his velocity back up though and he seems to have improved his slider. Not a realistic option at this point though.

Not to leave out the two of the Yankees own free agents:

  1. Freddy Garcia (RE-SIGNED with Yankees, 1-year, $4 mil) – Garcia’s return to the Yankees seems likely after he put together a solid 2011 campaign. The Yankees seemed to like his professionalism and he seems to have liked being a Yankee so he should be back. Only thing that could come in the way is money. They might want him back, but probably not with a huge raise.
  2. Bartolo Colon – He could still come back next year as well, but it seems much more unlikely. His stuff clearly wasn’t what it was in the second half of the season and I think the Yankees knew they got lucky with him. How much further are they going to push that luck? Still, if he’s willing to come to camp on a non-guaranteed deal it seems hard to deny him.

Obviously the Yankees are not going to sign most of these pitchers, heck, they might not even sign any of them. But if they do, whom would you like to see them sign? Or is there somebody I missed that you would like to see the Yankees go after?

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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14 Responses to 10 Free Agent Pitchers the Yankees Could Sign

  1. Angel Rodriguez says:

    I would go for YU Darvish and Edwin Jackson

    • George Sr. says:

      Buehrle is the best option on the list however they need a lot more than him. Cashman needs to get on the phone and make some trades! Shields, Cain, Gio Gonz…..

  2. Travis L. says:

    I'm all for Darvish and Oswalt. I think maybe a non-guaranteed contract to Armando Galarraga or Scott Kazmir would fall into the same category as last year's signing of Garcia and Colon.

  3. ElJefe says:

    Honestly, I think the best options are not even mentioned: Betances and Banuelos. Both pitchers showed they have the stuff necessary to get major-league hitters out and eventually they need to be given a chance to do it full-time. Forget about the big names that would cost big bucks, let's give the kids a chance!

  4. Cyril Morley says:

    Betances and Banuelos should be the starter for the yankees in 2012. Like Yu Darvish and Edwin Jackson. Non -guaranteed contract Scott Kazmir, Rich Harden, Chris Capuano and Joel Zumaya the same as player sign in 2011 season. Michael Gonzalez and Jonathan Broxton help for the RP.

    • Jacques says:

      Betances and Banuelos aren't ready for Majors yet. Even more, they still have not dominated Triple-A. Both have control issues to wrok with and give up too many walks. And there is also no guarentee that every non-guaranteed contracts will be converted into Colon-like dominance. The Yankees were really lucky with Garcia and Colon.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      Get help with your language skills, reading your posts is like listening to music while under water.

  5. I agree with that, Betanes and Bañuelos aren't ready, maybe Phelps deserves a chance, his numbers are better than Nova numbers in the minors.
    Scott Kazmir with a non-guaranteed contract sounds like a very good idea, he is lefty and the best he is just 27, If he doesn't work we lose nothing.
    From free agents definitely Buehrle is my favorite, always in the AL, lefty and the best: proven in playoffs.
    After him Rob made me think seriously about Darvish, It's just money.

  6. kuroda is the man says:

    I would first and foremost go after Kuroda, becuase of the yrs, which could be beneficial, because when he becomes a FA, we will know what we have with Betances and Banuelos.. If Kuroda won't come, go after Darvish and maybe Maholm.. Maholm is a lefty also, and at worst case scenario, we could bump him to the Pen if needed as another Lefty reliever.. Maybe Kuroda and Darvish? I really would love for Kuroda to come over here..


    Eat some of Aj's contract, and trade him to a team like the BREWERS, who could use pitching and would welcome a upside of AJ, being back in weaker hitting NL…

  7. Bronx_Knight says:

    Very interesting points about Darvish; I wasn't aware of the luxury-tax exemption for the posting fee. But with Kei Igawa pitching AA this year…
    I like Buehrle a lot. So, OK, go for Darvish and Buehrle.
    Oh, and please trade AJ. Whatever it takes. He's hurting our team. I give up on him.

  8. John says:

    I've been bullish on Darvish for a few years now. It is a low risk for the Yankees – only money. Darvish is a stud.


    Burnett to anyone in the NL is good. Brewers, yah! Mess, sure. Braves, hmmm. Chicago, maybe – Funny to see Theo and Cash trade.

    • Jipic says:

      Darvish is worth a shot. From the free agents my top choice is Mark Buehrle. The guy is very consistent and a Gold Glove fielder…he's like a Mike Mussina. Also has AL experience and a good post-season showing, unlike CJ Wilson's post-season stats. Buehrle seems like a CC type personlity…good leadership, experience and a do-whatever-it-takes attitude. I'd love to see the Yankees grab this guy.

  9. Jipic says:

    Despite Cashman's public comments, I think the Yankees are very interested in the free agent market. While Cash has just stated they will talk to CJ Wilson, I have to think the Yankees would be more interested in a more proven veteran like Mark Buehrle, also a lefty. Buehrle is sort-of an under-publicized stud. You hear about him, but people don't seem to give him all the credit he is due. 200+ innings evry year and a Gold Glove defender. Very Mike Mussina. Very well established as an AL pitcher. Lefty starter! Why does everyone think CJ Wilson is the best available free agent pitcher? If it's an age thing, it's poor judgment. At age 32 he's still got at least 4 years of consistency left. Look at Buehrle's career stats and tell me one stat that is not good. My first money goes to Buehrle and my take-a-shot guy is Yu Darvish. Youth and good stuff. The Yankees could finally get a Japanese pitcher who actually works out! If they get Darvish, they should try to bring back Hideki Matsui just to help Darvish make it in MLB. I don't think the club or the fans would regret having Hideki back as a DH/bench player, especially if he helps Darvish succeed.

  10. Tanned Tom says:

    Slim pickings. Pass on Darvish, a world beater at 4A ball means squat. Wilson is fine, but not at 6 years and $100 mil. Buehrle is a good fit, although the Yanks could be forgiven for thinking that Garcia can give them 2/3rds of the production at 1/3rd the price and without the multi-year committment. Jackson, nope. Oswalt with his back problems, only merits a one-year deal. The others are too old and too fragile, pass. Maholm? Are you serious Rob? Turns 30 next year, been a starter for 7 years and has put up exactly ONE year with an ERA under 4.00 (in the non-DH league) and more than 200 innings, what is the appeal here?

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