Wednesday, November 27, 2013
ARMS RACE NEARLY RUN
New York is unarmed. The Yankees have huge holes in their rotation right now, and these need to be filled. But with who?
This year’s crop of Free Agent pitchers was already thin. Most of the best options are already off the table. If the Yankees will win this arms race, they will need to act fast. First, let’s examine potential mistake signings.
Ricky Nolasco, 13-11 with a 3.70 ERA, should not be a priority. His lifetime ERA is an unimpressive 4.37 over eight seasons starting on the mound. He also believes he is worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $16 million. Uh, no. Take a pass.
Jason Vargas has more encouraging stats. He’s a durable southpaw with a 3.97 ERA, and a lifetime record of 42-44. In other words, he’s just what the Yankees need behind CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova. Perfect. If he weren’t asking so much. MLB.com reports he is looking for $30 million over three years. Pasadena.
Ubaldo Jimenez? No. Don’t let the strong second half of last season fool you. Jimenez has a delivery that wreaks havoc on his arm. He is made of glass. Danger, Will Robinson! Redrum! Redrum! Beware the Ides of March! We are saying we have no faith in Ubaldo. This is not a pass, this would be a fail.
This brings us to Ervin Santana. He is easily the most desirable starter still available. But while he had decent numbers last season, he still provokes red flags. He has had three 15 win seasons, but not in the last couple years. He’s only posted ERAs below 4.00 in consecutive seasons just one time. But season ERAs over 5.00? Uh, he has three of those.
Santana is expecting a contract of $112 million over 5 years. This would be why he is still available. While Ervin remains a potential fit for New York’s rotation, there is no way he is worth that much. But he’s the guy the Bronx might have to go with, simply due to the dearth of other options. Get him to be reasonable, then sign him.
But for his price tag, Santana would need to win 20 games in his first two seasons in Pinstripes. Do you think he can do that? Didn’t think so. The Front Office would get burned down for that fiasco.
Matt Garza appears to be the only realistic option for the Yankees. He is not a personal choice of this writer, but he is the biggest piece of gold left in the pan. He didn’t do so well with Texas. There, Garza posted a an ERA of 4.38 with a losing record of 4-5 over 13 starts.
But Garza made 60 starts in three years with the Chicago Cubs, posting a 3.45 ERA. And here’s something interesting, he does well in the AL East. Against the Red Sox, whom he has faced 18 times, Garza boasts a 7-4 record with a 3.83 ERA. Did that get your attention? It should.
His price tag should be significantly lower than previously mentioned Starters. Garza is only 30 years old, too. Considering what is or, more accurately, what isn’t available means he is the best option. Other teams are circling. New York should act fast.
Don’t forget Roy Halladay. The case was made for him in Pitching Fits. Doc is worth a long serious look. His veteran presence would stabilize New York’s pitching staff like nobody else.
Regardless of who the Yankees pick up, the arms race is almost over. And it’s one New York cannot afford to lose.
Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
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