Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Joe Sheehan's take on how to 'fix' the Yankees

There must be something about this that I don't understand. Anyway, on to the snark:

The article begins innocently enough, pointing out that the Yankees were one of the best teams in baseball this year, but happened to get stuck in the best division in baseball history. Both points are probably true.

Sheehan then moves to a step-by-step plan for what the Bombers need to do this offseason:

"Sign Mark Teixeira."

Sure, why not. He's the best hitter out there, and they have a hole at first base for him.

Try to bring back Bobby Abreu."

I question the wisdom here. Abreu's going to play all of next year at age 35, and he has just an .831 combined OPS the last two years. He plays the field like a serial monogamist, and he's going to demand a big contract.

I can't see how Abreu is more than a one-win upgrade over Xavier Nady, if that.

"Avoid the pitchers."

Eh, maybe. After all, as Sheehan points out earlier in the article, all the big free agent SP have injury histories, except C.C. Sabathia, whose health is the subject of much concern.

ut Joba Chamberlain in the rotation and leave him alone."

I couldn't agree more.

"Re-sign Mussina or Pettitte."

I like it. They're willing to go short-term and shouldn't be overly expensive.

"Pick up Carl Pavano's option."


Yes, that Carl Pavano. The one who has pitched 42 innings in three years; the one with the 5.55 xFIP this year--worse than Garrett Olson, Luis Mendoza, and a million others.

"It seems like a ridiculous idea, but Pavano's late-season performance has shown him to be a reasonable back-end option for a big-league rotation."

No, it's shown him to be possibly more valuable to the Yankees on the DL than in the rotation.

"You can laugh, but if he hits the market, some team will give him a two-year contract just off of the last month of work."

I'd probably lay -500 that he will sign for exactly one year, maybe with an option.

"The Yankees can pay $13 million—$11 million marginal considering the $2 million buyout—and have a fifth or sixth (insurance) starter in place for 2009, one who will be better than Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner."

What would it cost the Yankees to sign a comparable pitcher? Mike Hampton has thrown more innings than Pavano since 2005, and his rate stats this year are better. I guarantee you he won't be getting $11 million from his new employer next year. Freddy Garcia has had a much better career than Pavano, and he's going through a similar late-season audition for next year. No way in hell he gets $11 million.

What's really mind-boggling is that Sheehan uses injury risk as his main argument against signing Sheets, Burnett, Sabathia, et al. I don't necessarily disagree with this point on its own, but how can he also believe that it's a good idea to retain Pavano, perhaps the most injury-prone starter on the market, at an eight-figure salary?

Sheehan doesn't even have Pavano in the rotation; he's the sixth man, behind Ian Kennedy. Now, I understand why Kennedy doesn't seem like the safest bet in the world, but he's a better pitcher than Pavano now and is much more important to the future of the Yankees. Why jerk him around?

Since the article gave me express permission to laugh, I will choose to. If the Yankees pick up Pavano's option, you'll be able to hear me chortling from Vegas to Big Sur.

No comments: