Contemplating the 2011 Rotation

There are a few ways the 2010 Yankee pitching rotation could end up. Let’s run ‘em down. Disclaimer: I’m not including Javier Vazquez in any of these plans. I think there’s literally a 0.0% chance he is with the Yankees after 2010.

First, there’s this one:

CC Sabathia/Cliff Lee/A.J. Burnett/Andy Pettitte/Phil Hughes

That’d is probably the most desirable rotation out there. It’s got two of the best lefties in the game, a flame throwing (but inconsistent) right hander with a devastating curveball, a veteran lefty who can pitch a good amount of innings, and a young righty with plenty of upside. It will be hard for any team to top this hypothetical rotation.

Then, there’s the possibility that the Yankees sign Cliff Lee, but Andy Pettitte retires. In that case, everyone moves up, and there’s a hole in the fifth spot. In that case, I’d imagine we’ll see another competition for the fifth starter’s spot. I’m sure Ivan Nova would be involved in that and, hopefully, Joba Chamberlain would be as well. As Ben Kabak, others, and I discussed on Twitter the other day, we would be pretty mad if the Yankees have an open spot in the rotation come Spring Training and don’t give Joba Chamberlain a shot. I’m not holding my breath, but it could happen.

Then, there’s the situation that’s not optimal: the Yankees don’t sign Cliff Lee and Andy Pettitte decides to hang ‘em up. In that case, there’d be two rotation spots open and in that case, I really think the Yankees would be forced to give Joba another shot. If that happens, though, they could change course a bit. Perhaps in that situation, they’d look to trade someone (Brett Gardner, perhaps, as his stock has risen a bit) for a starter and go after Carl Crawford or look to retain Austin Kearns as a full time starter. I say they’d possibly go for a trade because after Cliff Lee, the starting pitching market is rather thin. Well, I guess in that situation the Yankees would have to give him at least a second thought, but I still don’t think we’ll see Javy with the Yankees after 2010.

No matter what happens, we’ll look back at this post on April 1, 2011, and laugh at my awful crystal ball skills.

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4 thoughts on “Contemplating the 2011 Rotation

  1. Reggie C.

    The thought of losing both Pettitte to retirement and Lee to another team would definitely add unwelcomed excitement and heart-burn to the off-season. Of course we can go the Nova vs. Joba route for the last rotation spot, but the trade possibilities and arguments that’ll emerge will be a fun exercise.

    I’m firmly in the camp that AJ should become the most overpaid #3 starter in baseball. Lets hope Cash blows Cliff Lee’s hair back with a big 4/5 yr offer. It’d let the squad save some money and we can stay internal for the 5 spot.

  2. Damian

    If Burnett and Lackey get lucrative 5-year deals, I don’t see Cliff Lee being impressed with a 4 year offer.

  3. Marcus

    Lee will command a 7yr deal…I don’t have proof just my opinion. If the Yanks lose out on Lee and Pettitte retires, I see them brining up Nova and making a deal to get a 5th starter. I wouldn’t like them to trade Cervelli he may have some value along with Gardner for Greinke (i know this is pipe dream).

  4. Matt Imbrogno

    That’s beyond a pipe dream, dude. Cervelli has absolutely no trade value; he is what he is: a back up catcher with a questionable bat and okay defensive skills. No one’s going to give you more than a C prospect for that. Gardner does have some trade value, but as a cost controlled player who can hit at league average and play outstanding defense probably brings more value to the Yankees than a trade would.

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