Last week, EJ laid out his argument as to why Cliff Lee is an unnecessary upgrade. I, as many of you do, disagree and I’d like to say why I feel like Lee is a necessary upgrade. I’m not going to cut up EJ’s piece and FJM it or anything, but just give the reason why I think the Yankees should be on Cliff Lee like they were on CC Sabathia.
The reason is that the Yankees only have three definite starting pitchers under contract for 2010: CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and A.J. Burnett. Every team uses free agency as a way to fill voids with the best players possible, and in this case, there’s a void and Cliff Lee is the best player available. General Manager Brian Cashman and his squad always aim high and this should be no different.
Not only is Lee the best of the available players on the market, but the jump in quality–as the “number two” starter–from the pitcher who fills that spot–be it Hughes, Burnett, or possibly Andy Pettitte–is very, very big. As we know from his past performance, Cliff Lee is an ace pitcher. The argument could be made that he should start over CC Sabathia if on the team, but you’re essentially splitting hairs there. A front two of Sabathia/Lee is much better than a front two of Sabathia/(Hughes, Burnett, Pettitte).
While we may expect Andy Pettitte to return in 2011, it’s of course no guarantee. This makes adding Lee all the more important: it adds another known quantity; it adds a second lefty; it adds (broken record time) the best available player.
Call me a cynic, but of the three pitchers under contract for 2011, only one of them is essentially a known quantity. At this point, A.J. Burnett is a complete wildcard. We have no idea what the hell is going to come from his right arm every five days. Phil Hughes may be a little more solid after this season, but he’s still young and the only consistent thing from young pitchers is inconsistency.
As he is better than all the external options, Lee is miles better than the internal options. It seems now that the Yankees have permanently relegated Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen, the internal options for starting pitching in 2011 are short. While guys like Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, and Manny Banuelos have great upside, they’re not ready to be in the big leagues. They’re also behind guys like David Phelps, Hector Noesi, and Ivan Nova. While they’re relatively close to the Majors, none of them inspire much confidence. Nova had trouble going six innings and without swing-and-miss stuff, he may be easy to figure out.
The big reason not to sign Cliff Lee is the potential contract. It’s likely to be five years and cost well north of $10MM. That isn’t to be ignored as it would give the Yankees a very high priced player who would quickly be in his decline years. However at this point, Lee is definitely good enough to take this risk. He has great control and doesn’t have stuff that is likely to just drop off a table any time soon. Even if it does, his control is such that he can make up for it. Will the 2011 Yankees be completely lost without Cliff Lee? Absolutely not. Still, it’s a risk that they don’t need to take. A Cliff Lee inclusive rotation is a massive upgrade and that is always necessary.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Christina on Game Thread: Angels versus Yankees, Saturday July 14th
- walkfit platinum reviews on The TYA staff on the Yankees’ television and radio broadcast teams
- essentialtexting.com on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- www25.tok2.com on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- グッチ 財布 on Sunday Links-Joba’s Timetable, Comparing eras, Pineda
- raspberry ketone diet 1200 on Sabermetrics Doesn’t Have A Monopoly on Not-Stupid: Mike Trout is the AL MVP
- Free riot codes on Off-Topic
- Fran on The Great Subway Race
- sleeping bag hand Orientation on What about Austin Romine?
- camping stove heat diffuser on What about Austin Romine?
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees