…the more they (should) stay the same.
The Yankees drastically improved their rotation over the weekend. The acquisition of Michael Pineda was obviously one focused on the long term; he isn’t a free agent until 2017. Ignoring everyone else for a second, and assuming improvement and development from the third member of the following group, CC Sabathia, Pineda, and Ivan Nova form a talented trio that could carry the team for the next five years. Hiroki Kuroda, on the other hand, gives the Yankees a (relatively) cheap starter who can provide a nice balance of quality and quantity. But since his contract is only one year in length, he demands no sort of long term commitment. I bring this up because over the weekend, a reader emailed the following:
[H]ow do you think these moves affect their chances of landing Hamels or another of the big time pitchers next off-season? Thanks
First off, thanks for reading and submitting the question.
Now, hopefully this means “nothing” for the Yankees’ pursuit of a big ticket free agent this time next year. While the Yankees certainly have their eyes on budget consciousness, Cole Hamels is a player for whom you break the bank. He’s left handed. He strikes guys out and doesn’t walk many. He gets grounders. He’s used to pitching in a tough division and a hitter’s park. He’ll be 29 when he hits free agency. Basically, he’s really good and you’ll be buying his prime years.
With Kuroda on only a one year deal, the Yankees will have a spot open in the 2013 rotation, and even with young arms coming up from the farm, Cole Hamels should get the proverbial first crack at that spot. His cost will certainly be high, but he is a talent that is certainly worth the cost. Put very simply, I hope that this has no effect on the Yankees’ pursuit of high-end pitching talent, and I don’t think it will.
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