Discussion: Possible Starters In 2011

Although it seems like the Joba debate will continue to roil forever (see the comments on Steve’s post), let’s move forward assuming that Joba is staying in the bullpen for the foreseeable future. If that holds true, then the Yankees will only have 3 starting pitchers under contract for 2011, with CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Phil Hughes forming a solid trio that the Yankees are sure to supplement with free agent signings. How might the Yankees fill those holes?

Obviously, Andy Pettitte can renege on his stated desire to retire after this season. Furthermore, Javier Vazquez has mentioned a willingness to go season-to-season on one year contracts, but I wonder if he will still be willing to do so if he has a moderately successful 2010 and has the ability to score a big contract on the free agent market. The following pitchers will be free agents:

Bronson Arroyo (34) – $11MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Josh Beckett (31)
Erik Bedard (32)
Kris Benson (35)
Jeremy Bonderman (28)
Dave Bush (31)
Jose Contreras (39)
Kevin Correia (30)
Doug Davis (35) – $6.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Jorge De La Rosa (30)
Justin Duchscherer (33)
Shawn Estes (38)
Josh Fogg (34)
Jeff Francis (29) – $7MM club option
Freddy Garcia (35)
Jon Garland (31) – $6.75MM mutual option with a $600K buyout
Rich Harden (29) – $11MM mutual option with $1MM buyout
Aaron Harang (33) – $12.75MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Livan Hernandez (36)
Jason Jennings (32)
Hiroki Kuroda (36)
Cliff Lee (32)
Ted Lilly (35)
Rodrigo Lopez (35)
Kevin Millwood (36)
Sergio Mitre (30)
Brian Moehler (39)
Jamie Moyer (48)
Brett Myers (30) – $8MM mutual option with a $2MM buyout
Vicente Padilla (33)
Carl Pavano (35)
Brad Penny (33)
Andy Pettitte (39)
Tim Redding (33)
Nate Robertson (33)
Ben Sheets (32)
Jeff Suppan (36) – $12.75MM club option with a $2MM buyout
Brett Tomko (38)
Koji Uehara (36)
Javier Vazquez (34)
Brandon Webb (32)
Todd Wellemeyer (32)
Kip Wells (34)
Jake Westbrook (33)
Dontrelle Willis (29)
Chris Young (32) – $8.5MM club option

Cliff Lee is an obvious choice, and Josh Beckett and Brandon Webb are intriguing depending on the length of contract and their health. However, I do not see the Yankees signing two pitchers to long-term deals, and I am not thrilled with the second-level talent available. How much would it cost to get Ted Lilly? What about Jake Westbrook? Would Vazquez require more than 3 seasons? If Chamberlain does in fact stay in the bullpen, the Yankees will likely find themselves overpaying for one of those players, or trading prospects to acquire a starter. Hopefully, they can find a way to bring in someone willing to sign a short-term deal that can slot in as a reasonable 4th or 5th starter on a championship caliber team.

Which of these players interests you?

0 thoughts on “Discussion: Possible Starters In 2011

  1. Cliff Lee is clearly the best on the market and the guy that interests me the most. Beckett and Vazquez would be my choices ahead of Brandon Webb. At this point, I have no interest the Yanks going after a guy recovering from shoulder surgery. The dark horse that I see from this group is Jorge De La Rosa. He issues too many walks, but he’s relatively young 30-31, left handed and racks up Ks. Maybe he’d even be moderately affordable – more so than a guy like Beckett. IF Joba stays in the ‘pen permanently, I kind of like the idea of targeting Lee and De La Rosa to fill out the vacancies.

    The problem here though is that we’d be surrendering way too many draft picks. Especially if the Yanks go after an OF as well.

  2. Didn’t realize Lilly put together an impressive 2009 season. Lilly’s 33 and i think starting the season on the DL for a couple weeks. Not sure but he’s rehabbing from some injury. Nevertheless, Lilly’s making $12 million and might not budge too much. If he likes Chi-town, and considering the success he’s had, he probably re-signs. Nobody does come close to Cliff Lee.

  3. Cliff Lee is hurt already! He threw 50 innings more last season for a total of 273. The Phillies traded him because of his work load. If I were the Yankees I would pass. To much potential injury risk with Lee.

  4. It’s either resign Andy or Javy and let one of the rookies in AAA take the 5th spot. The extra 8 mil will go towards An outfield spot. The Yankees will not go beyond the 210 mil so the rookies will have to get more chances to see what they are made of.

  5. I would guess that Lee will take Andy’s spot, and that Vasquez will pitch well enough to earn a 3-4 year extension/deal. I’m not sure about Hughes, but if he holds his own then your 2011 rotation is set right there.

    BTW-I’d pass on Beckett. The Sox have had enough trouble keeping him on the field, and his reputation far outweighs his actual numbers.

  6. I think there are a lot of “wait and see” picks in there, including Jeremy Bonderman, Brandon Webb, Aaron Harang, Rich Harden, and maybe even Erik Bedard. So, I will wait and see. A healthy season out of any of those guys would get a contract offer from me, if I were Cashman.

    I have less of an issue with Cliff Lee’s arm as I do with the contract it will require. Two of five starters costing almost 50 million? Flexibility will be an issue.

  7. Lee”s WS impressed me no end, and he appears the perfect replacement for Andy, though Rooster’s note of caution is prudent, a scout should be tracking his performance for health issues. I would try to attract him with top dollar bid per year for three years (as I’ve said elsewhere, if he believes his own worth and longevity, he should be comfortable with the sum of our offer plus his next contracts). If he looks very strong, I would offer +25% for AAV.

    Presuming Javy has a good year, I would look to sign him for one or two or three, depending, and let him enjoy some of the value savings we earn from avoiding the draft selection giveaway – good point Craig. Finally, I would plan on holding another (longer) competition for the 5th spot, among long relievers and AAA, even AA pitchers. (Joba’s in my competition, depending.)

    Any cracks in need for starters or prospects, I would deal from ML riches, ie, give up a dandy player, one who has prospect of coverage from within. In mind of Craig’s very good point, I would be loathe to give draft choices for high-end position players, unless the need was great.

  8. Why doesn’t anyone mention the Yankees in house young options?

    De la Rosa
    DJ Mitchell

    Does anyone think one or two of these 9 can step up?

  9. I like Webb the most. Obviously he has to show good health this season, but he’d be the best value for the Yanks.

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