The offseason between 2008 and 2009 was a monumental one for the Yankees. Not only did it signal a shift in the way the team was contructed, but it also directly led to them winning the 2009 World Series.
One of the major decisions the Yankees came to that offseason was choosing between A.J. Burnett and Derek Lowe to sign and slot behind CC Sabathia in the rotation. We know that the Yankees ultimately chose Burnett which resulted in a big World Series start and then two years of aggravation.
But apparently that wasn’t the decision they wanted to make. According to Ken Davidoff of the NY Post, the Yankees preferred Lowe to Burnett that offseason if only negotiations went the way they wanted. So they signed Burnett for five-years and $82.5 million deal while Lowe inked a four-year, $60 million deal with the Braves.
I’d have to say that the deal worked out well for the Yankees primarily because they won the World Series with Burnett and nobody knows what would have happened had they signed Lowe.
We can not say for certain, but it is likely that the Yankees made the right choice considering Burnett out-pitched Lowe that season, Lowe was horrible toward the end of the year (he had a 6.23 ERA in his final six starts), and they actually won the World Series. It is interesting to think about how things could have been different though…