We’ve already had something similar to this here at TYU. You can still see it over on the sidebar: If the Yankees could only afford one of the two, which one would you want them to select: Cliff Lee or Derek Jeter?
Today, I come with a similar question. Let’s throw out all the contract demands. Let’s throw out all the talk we’ve heard since the season ended about both players and where they’ll be in 2011 (for now at least)
Let’s also make some assumptions:
1. Each player wants just a one year contract.
2. Each player wants the same amount of money; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll call it $X.
3. The Yankees have a budget and have only $X to spend.
The argument for Jeter:
1. He’s in the lineup every day.
2. It’s harder to hide an everyday player, like a replacement level SS, than it is to hide a fourth or fifth starter.
3. He’s less likely to succumb to injury than Pettitte.
4. He could be due for a rebound at the plate.
5. Pettitte could be do for a regression on the mound.
The argument for Pettitte:
1. The old mantra: pitching, pitching, pitching.
2. It’s easier to acquire something close to a quality shortstop than it is to find a quality pitcher.
3. Pettitte could be healthy again after getting some shelf time in 2010.
There are other mitigating factors this argument can hinge on, the most important of which is Cliff Lee. If the Yankees sign Cliff Lee, signing Andy Pettitte becomes a lot less necessary. If they don’t sign Cliff Lee, the pitching staff may be short handed.
Obviously, we think the Yankees can and will land both of these guys. I definitely expect both of them to be wearing pinstripes in 2011, and I think you do, too. But, for argument’s sake–and who doesn’t love a good argument?–let’s assume the Yankees can only sign one of these guys. Which one would you take?