View Full Version : Free Agent Starters the Yankees Should Avoid

11-12-2011, 06:32
It's easy to make a rash decision when you're in the position the New York Yankees are in. They clearly need a starter to add to their current situation that will give them reliability and depth beyond CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova.

There are a few pitchers out there who could fit that build, but the Yankees need to be aware, for whatever reason, of pitchers who will command more attention than they might deserve.

The more attention and bidding wars the Yanks find themselves in for these pitchers, the more likely they will overpay for them.

And the more likely they will make a huge, expensive, long-term mistake.

Here are some starters that the Yankees need to avoid this offseason.

1. There is no doubt that C.J. Wilson is the best pitcher on the market this offseason and will command a lot of money because of that.

Wilson is 31 and has had success recently with the Texas Rangers, winning 15 or more games in his last two seasons.

That sounds nice until you get to his playoff numbers.

Wilson has a 1-5 record, sporting a 4.82 ERA. That will not get it done with the Bronx Bombers.

Playoff success is just about everything here, and it's tough to have faith in Wilson's ability in the postseason.

Not to mention, adding the pressure of New York's media to the mix, it might be tough for Wilson to be successful in pinstripes.

Ignore Wilson's reported "love" for the Big Apple; it's really love for the Yanks' deep pockets that will get him a huge pay day. He'll find he doesn't love New York as much when he has reporters following him wherever he goes.

2. At this point in his career, Roy Oswalt would be a nice No. 3 starter. That is, if you can depend on him to be healthy.

Nagging back problems have plagued the former Houston Astros ace during his tenure with the Phillies and could be a negative sign of things to come.

Like Wilson, forget about Oswalt's reported "love" for the Big Apple also. It is just Oswalt's agent throwing a line to the Yankees, a team with the type of deep pockets that might overpay Oswalt.

The Yankees won't bite on that one, and don't expect Oswalt to be a Yankee.

His back issues will make him a tough sign for New York, a team looking for a more reliable option than what Oswalt can guarantee.

If they sign him, the Yanks might find themselves worse off than last season, having to rely on A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes if Oswalt goes down to injury.

Without a savior like Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia to rescue them, the Bombers would be in deep trouble.

3. Yu Darvish may be a front-line starter in Japan, but in the MLB, he would have a lot to prove.

Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa had the same kind of hype that Darvish has and both crashed and burned after joining the Yankees.

Brian Cashman must stay away from this one, having learned his lesson with Japanese pitchers of the past.

The Yanks will have to pay Darvish's current team just to talk to him and then comes the contract negotiations.

It will cost way too much money for an uncertainty, and the Yanks would be better off taking a chance on a starter who is more proven with major league experience.

It seems doubtful the Yankees will take a serious run at him, especially considering Cashman has already hinted New York may have learned their lesson signing Japanese star pitchers.

4. Edwin Jackson could be a possibility for the Yankees this offseason, but he should be one of their last resorts, if an option at all.

Jackson had a decent season in a weak division last season, going 12-9 with a 3.79 ERA.

Transfer that ERA to the AL East and you have yourself a 4.50 ERA, at least. Jackson will have a ton of issues with a heavier-hitting division and could end up being another A.J. Burnett, only slightly cheaper.

Not to mention his lack of playoff success, posting a 1-1 record with the Cardinals in the postseason with an ERA of 4.91.

If the Yankees are looking for reliability this offseason, Jackson doesn't fit that description.

5. Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia were saviors of the Yankees' season in 2011. When Hughes and Burnett both failed to provide the Yankees with consistency and wins, Colon and Garcia were extremely reliable for the Yanks.

That being said, I would doubt the Yanks would get a repeat of that in 2012, especially from Colon.

The former Cy Young winner had an unbelievable comeback season in 2011, showing signs of his old self during the majority of the season.

It seemed Colon flamed out towards the end of the season and despite being one of the Yanks' best pitchers, he was unable to pitch in the playoffs. In September, Colon's ERA was near six and he failed to win a single start.

I think the Colon's days as a rejuvenated starter are over and even if that isn't the case, clearly you can only depend on him early in the season.

The Yanks need a starter they can depend on all year.

Freddy Garcia is a little more of a realistic option for the Yankees to bring back in 2012. But he better be the Bombers' absolute last resort.

The Yanks already have their fourth and fifth starters in Hughes and Burnett, so if Garcia is the Yanks' third option, they will have issues.