The reaction among some Yankees fans to the Bartolo Colon signing was odd. A fairly sizable portion of the fanbase took issue with the signing, suggesting that bringing in retreads like Colon is embarrassing for the franchise and should be avoided. I’ve ranted about this on Twitter before, but one comment from @Heartbeatbronx struck me as particularly on-point on this subject:
Yankees should bring in Garcia and Duscherer to join Prior and Colon in spring training. Don’t understand why everyone is so upset. (Cont.)
(Cont.) I’m sure everyone was so excited about Shawn Chacon, Aaron Small, Dustin Moseley, Alfredo Aceves, and Jon Lieber too. This can work.
We all wish that Cliff Lee had signed with the Yankees and Andy Pettitte was returning for another season. However, being that Lee is in Philadelphia and Pettitte is still undecided, the Yankees have two rotation spots open and only one young pitcher (Ivan Nova) who is actually ready for MLB action. Furthermore, Nova is far from a sure thing, and the Yankees only veteran option, Sergio Mitre, is not the most palatable of rotation options.
Therefore, as @Heartbeatbronx noted, it behooves the Yankees to bring in as many veteran arms as they can on cheap contracts and non -roster invites to spring training. If you throw enough trash at the wall, eventually you may get lucky and something will stick. The Yankees should bring in plenty of arms that have any sort of slight upside, and hold open competitions for the two rotation spots. If Nova and Hector Noesi win the jobs out of Spring Training, you thank the veterans for their services and cut them loose, incurring little expense in the process. And if you get lucky with one of the “retreads,” you suddenly have a viable rotation option at a minuscule cost. These signings are the very definition of low-risk, high-reward, and anyone who has a serious issue with them due to perception may want to reexamine their priorities.