Jan 282011

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.

5 Responses to “Throw Enough At The Wall……”

  1. Or ‘run it (them) up a flagpole and see who salutes’.

    I agree-what’s funny about these type things is how often you end up with somebody who another team is willing to trade for.  (Quote)

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  2. I’m OK with buying rotation insurance by signing reclamation arms for spring tryouts, but I miss the days when the yanks would make an ambitious trade for a solid plug-in player. How about asking Houston for Happ or Rodriguez? They’e young, steady, affordable and maybe available for prospects (along with Chamberlain?)  (Quote)

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    T.O. Chris Reply:

    I don’t miss those days at all! The days when we had no prospects at all because all we did was trade for Kevin Brown’s, Randy Johnsons’s and countless other worthless trades that didn’t bring a ring but did deplete the system to a laughing stock, if there was any pitcher who was good that could be had cheap we have already done it the fact that we haven’t shows you the asking price for medium to low tier starting pitchers is way to high!

    The Astros just traded for JA Happ last year to be a main part of the rotation going forward, he was the big piece in the Oswalt trade, why would they then turn around and trade him for next to nothing?

    Wandy just signed a 3 year extension pretty cheap and while I like him a lot (I live in Houston) he doesn’t have the stuff to pitch in the AL East IMO as anything more than a back of the rotation guy but for the ‘stros he is their ace and there is no way they trade him for nothing.  (Quote)

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  3. Who is embarrassed by the signing of Colon? The last time I checked this is a sports team and on a sports team players every year try out who probably won’t even be there the day before the day of final cuts, no one gets embarrassed in the NFL when you sign an undrafted free agent (Arian Foster FTW!!!). This whole “The Yankees are too good for that” business is kind of head scratching when you consider our 2008 rotation had Darrell Rasner and Sydney Ponson as main stays neither one of which would be coming anywhere near this rotation.

    My only real problems with Colon are the fact that he has always had a bad reputation as a lazy pitcher who never had any motivation or showed any effort to lose weight even when it was clear he was going down hill quick because of it (and I fear Joba doesn’t need that type of example). I have heard Colon has lost weight and is “in the best shape if [his] life” but seriously how often do you hear that and it isn’t true of athletes? The other thing I don’t like about Colon is his fastball usage, he has always been a guy who throws his 4-seam fastball 70-80% of the time while making himself a 3 pitch pitcher (by cutting out his curve) which wasn’t as bad when his velocity was in the mid 90’s but as his velo dropped nothing about his pitching style changed. However on a minor league deal it doesn’t hurt to see if he has changed I highly doubt he has and don’t see him making it out of ST but he could prove me wrong and I hope he does!

    I agree with bringing in Duchscherer and Garcia as well to compete for spots but not on “cheap contracts” that are major league deals, the only way I would like either one of them on the team is through minor league deals with invites to ST because I don’t want to get stuck holding the bag on one of these guys for a month or two just because they signed a minor league deal if Noesi or Mitre could do as well or better, make them prove their value to the team if they want to bump someone else off.

    I would even throw in Kevin Millwood as a name who you might ink to a minor league deal just to see what he has, he had a terrible year last season and wouldn’t probably benefit from a trip to the NL but on a minor league deal he is no worse an option than Colon.

    I don’t believe Duchscherer is going to be willing to take a minor league deal however as I have seen he has at least 5 suitors and has thrown for multiple teams already so I imagine someone will step up to the plate with a major league deal, I would be willing to go to that point myself if he had given any wiggle room in making a place in the pen his fallback spot but he has made it quite clear he wants to start or do nothing.

    Garcia has interest from the White Sox but he said yesterday his main choice would be to pitch for the Yankees because of the chance to win and I guess to challenge himself on the biggest stage so he may be willing to take a minor league deal and scorn a major league one from the Sox but I would think that is a long shot.

    I wouldn’t exactly call Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia “Low risk, High reward” if anything they are more along of the line of (when signing minor league deals) “No risk, low to medium reward” but even that is nothing to sneeze at because it costs you nothing and you might gain something and something is always more than nothing.

    Why does everyone keep bringing up Prior when it comes to the rotation? He has already said himself he doesn’t think he can hold up as a starter anymore and wouldn’t even be willing to try it until next season at the earliest IF his body held up, at this point Prior is a bullpen piece and nothing more so he doesn’t belong in the Colon, Garcia, Duchscherer conversation IMO.  (Quote)

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