Yankees Rotation Issues Still Need to be Fixed

Now that the Yankees have re-signed Freddy Garcia their rotation is technically full with five starting pitchers including CC, A.J. Burnett, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, and Garcia and aside from CC Sabathia none of those guys are very trust worthy.

Buster Olney of ESPN thinks that this could possibly be the way the rotation stands come opening day. He mentions that the Yankees believe that Hughes will have a big bounce back year and could use more low-cost veterans and their prospects to fill in the holes as needed.

If this is the plan, it is a terrible one. They were forced to go the Bartolo Colon/Garcia route last offseason because Brian Cashman went full bore after Cliff Lee and then didn’t have a backup plan if and ultimately when Lee signed elsewhere. This offseason is quite different as he knew what the market would look like and going with a patchwork rotation cannot be excused. They got extremely lucky in 2011, hoping to get that lucky again with a $200 million plus payroll is insane.

Even if Hughes has a huge bounce back year, which is highly unlikely, can we count on the same from Burnett? How about Nova, sure he was more than anyone expected last year, but his track record is not nearly long enough that he can be counted on as a major rotation piece. And don’t discount the possibility that Garcia goes back to being the injury plagued pitcher he was for the past five seasons.

The Yankees need to go hard after Yu Darvish and probably even Mark Buehrle or another free agent too. If those moves don’t work out then a trade needs to be made. The Yankees have too many valuable pieces in the minor leagues that there is no excuse not to land a big pitcher this offseason.

They currently have Hector Noesi, David Phelps, Adam Warren, and D.J. Mitchell who will all be ready to contribute at the major league level at some point in 2012. The year after they will have two pitchers who will be ready who are even better than any of those guys in Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos. It’s not even possible for all of those guys to even fit on the roster so dealing one or more of them isn’t going to drain the prospect pool.

That’s before we even mention Corban Joseph and David Adams, who are blocked as infielders. Heck, even as much as the Yankees like Eduardo Nunez, he’s just a utility infielder and should not be anywhere close to untradable.

Those aren’t even their best position player prospects. Next season they will work in Jesus Montero behind Russell Martin. Well, they also have Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine that can be included in trades. Beyond them Gary Sanchez may be a valuable piece that they may consider dealing soon as attitude problems have already arisen with him.

It’s fine to talk like their roster is all set. If teams think they are not in on Darvish it could mean a significantly lower posting fee. Also, if they think they don’t need to make a trade then that could put them in a much better negotiating position. However, if Cashman actually takes the rotation into the season as it currently stands this could easily count as one of his worst offseasons.

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9 Responses to Yankees Rotation Issues Still Need to be Fixed

  1. David K. says:

    Yes I agree 100 %. And Hughes and Chamberlain should go to the bullpen as short relievers. We better bring in at least one new starter. If that starter is Yu Darvish, then we better also have some backup plan in case he implodes, meaning we really need Buehrle as well. Less than this would be foolish penny pinching, since I think we have most of the other pieces to make another run at a championship.

  2. Tanned Tom says:

    A team with a $200 mil payroll should not go dumpster diving for starters evey off season. Now I know that we've got all these masters of the universe down on the farm, but last year's rotation was a joke. If all they do this year is wave bye-bye to fat Colon, we'll you could make an easy argument that he was better than both Burnett and Hughes.
    What's the advantage in having such a high payroll if we don't use it?
    1) trade Burnett, pay $10 mil of his salary and end this spectacle.
    2) send Hughes either back to the bullpen, or trade him, he's had his chances.
    3) sign Buehrle. I know he's no Sandy Koufax, but 200+ innings every year with 4.00 ERA? Sounds like Andy Pettitte, and boy wouldn't you jump at having him back?
    4) Fill the 5th spot with a rookie. Blending in young players is essential with a veteran team, so let's get on with it.

    a rotation of Sabathia, Buehrle, Nova, Garcia, Warren/Phelps is much improved over 2011's

    • Susan says:

      I agree with 100% of this post Tom. Sadly almost a seventh of that huge payroll is going towards Rodriguez. 1-3 were especially great points. I'm done with Hughes as a starter. I love Buerhle also. I'd have no problem holding down the 5th spot with a rookie, especially with CC, Buerhle and Nova as our 1-3. Your comment about Burnett being a spectacle was right on the money. What a joke!

      • Tanned Tom says:

        There must be some way to void that contract! Admitted steroid use has got to give the team an opening. I've tried to keep an open mind about him, but have come to realize that I hate having him on the team. He's not all bad of course, but I'm tired of his act, and the idea that there's 6 more years to go is nauseating. That he'll be a Yankee after Jeter and Rivera are gone is just not right.

        • Susan says:

          I give you major credit for being man enough to admit this about Rodriguez. I'm so sick of Yankee fans that bend over backwards to defend him just because he's a Yankee or claim he didn't actually cheat because it wasn't in baseball's rule book not to roid up.

  3. hotdog says:

    Wouldn't you want to give Hughes another chance to make the rotation. He's a very talented pitcher even though he's fragile. I would rather have him as a starter than a reliever. Who is to say that he can return to his 2009 level of performance as a reliever any better than he can perform as a starter.

    • hotdog says:

      I would like to see the Yankees add Darvish but it's not my money. Other pitchers haven't fared so well but sometimes you pick up a gem. I remember Matsui came over with a lot of questions even though he was a superstar at home. The Yankees have gotten burned too often but also look at El Duque and what he did. No one wants another Dice K or whatever the guys name is that came over the same time for the Yankees but I'd like to see some solid improvement in the rotation. The atricle points out something that's very important about their rotation and the Yankees can't just rely on scoring runs especially in the post season.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      Actually no I wouldn't. The guy has had exactly 3 good months as a starter, the rest of the time he's been awful. Awful, like beyond Burnett bad. With a team like, oh say. the Padres you can bring a guy along slowly and live with him being below average for a couple of years. But when you expect to win every year, there's a limit to how long you can wait. Plus he comes to camp over weight and out of shape. Hey Hotdog? You ever make $2.7 mil a year? Nope me either, but I can tell you one thing, I'd show up in shape and give it my best shot. Why hasn't Hughes? I'd rather give the 5th spot to a hungrier guy, instead of one who thinks he's already got it made.

  4. Emmerson says:

    agree!!! Rotation set? far from true. What the Garcia signing does is to allow the Yankees to go hard for Davarish. 2012 is a crucial year for the bombers. Rodriguez, Jeter, Mariano (he is human) Burnett are aging before our eyes and Tex has been in slow decline. The yankees don't have the luxury to go with a piecemeal rotation again and throw away 2012. Go hard for Davarish, if he doesn't pan out then we get to playoffs as usual. If Davirsh is the real deal. Then Sabathia, Davarish, Nova, and the others are only boosted by the addition of Garcia. Cashman as stated in previous posts, you have a 200 million payrol already. Go Big or go Home….