Without adding to Brad’s terrific Castro-Warren analysis, I’d already been mulling over a question about Adam Warren that also applies to several free-agent starters. Assume the Yankees aren’t landing a Johnny Cueto-level ace: how much are they hurt by pitching a 5ish-ERA fifth starter like CC Sabathia (or 2015-quality Ivan Nova), rather than an average-level starter, like Warren or a second-tier free agent like Yovani Gallardo or Wei-Yin Chen? Sabathia and Nova were an identical 1 WAR/yr in 2015, so a 2-3 WAR starter is worth 1-2 more wins over a whole season. I’m not sure it’s worth the roughly $20 million a year (when you include luxury tax), and the 4+ years, it would take to lock in Gallardo’s or Chen’s age 30-34 seasons.
But here’s another way to look at it: How much did it hurt the Yankees to have stuck with CC in the rotation, rather than replace him with the clearly superior Warren?… Click here to read the rest