Friday, January 6, 2012

Sign? Trade? How About Both?

I read another article from River Avenue Blues regarding Edwin Jackson, in which Joe Pawlikowski mentions that the situation with Rafael Soriano during last year’s offseason is a lot like this offseason with Jackson. I won’t get into it, but if you want you can check out the article here. I’ll just say that I agree that it is similar, and disturbing.
But after reading a couple of the comments to the article I got to thinking… could the Yankees sign Edwin Jackson and trade for Matt Garza?
Say the Yankees sign Edwin Jackson, leading to me looking for a weapon that I can wrap my lips around. Okay, okay… I don’t dislike the idea of signing Jackson that bad, but after the Soriano signing last offseason you can’t blame me for being scared of the particulars of such a deal. 
At that point the Yankees would have quite a bit of depth at the starting pitcher position, both in the majors and minors. CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, AJ Burnett, Freddy Garcia, Hector Noesi, Adam Warren, David Phelps, DJ Mitchell, Dellin Betances, Manny Banuelos, and now Edwin Jackson. Every single one of those guys could find a spot in a MLB starting rotation somewhere. Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Houston, and a few others would definitely go for any of those guys. But there’s one team that would definitely be interested… the Chicago Cubs.
After signing Edwin the Yankees’ rotation would have five of Sabathia, Jackson, Nova, Hughes, Burnett, and Garcia. Of course, some people believe that the Yankees would put a 6-man rotation out there. Me? I say “not a chance”. Not that it couldn’t happen again at some point in 2012, but it’s not something they’d start out with or plan on going with long-term. If it wasn’t for injuries and ineffectiveness last season they wouldn’t have done it. If those two things hit hard again… okay. But until then I don’t see it happening.
So back to five of CC, Edwin, Ivan, Phil, AJ, and Freddy. The team is set for 2012 without making any more moves. Can they get better? Well, I’m sure they can. But do they need to? No, I don’t think so. So let’s look at the future… CC will be around another 5-6 years, Nova still has like 5 years of team control, and Jackson would be signed for probably 4 years. I don’t think Freddy, AJ, or Phil is blocking anybody. Freddy is only signed for 2012, AJ will only be around for two more years, and Phil could be put back in the bullpen coming out of Spring Training. That would leave two more rotation spots for Noesi, Banuelos, Betances, Warren, Phelps, Mitchell. And that doesn’t count lower prospects like Brett Marshall like Nik Turley. So it’s clear that the Yankees could lose some of those guys without missing a beat.
Now it’s true that not all of those prospects are going to pan out. Out of the 8 prospects mentioned, the Yanks would be lucky if 3 of them were serviceable in MLB. This is where the scouts need to step up and figure out who is worth what. Who is more likely to make it, and who is a long-shot at best? And then go from there. Could the scouts make the wrong choice? Sure they could. But taking risks is part of the game. 
The risk that would be taken is picking 3 of those names and putting them in a package for Matt Garza. I’m not saying it will only take 3 of those pitchers, as it would also take a position player such as Austin Romine too. If a catcher could do it then the Bombers could more than afford to lose one of Romine, Murphy, or Sanchez (I’d prefer Romine or Murphy, though). 
Phil Hughes, Hector Noesi, Dellin Betances, Brett Marshall, and Austin Romine sounds like more than enough. Mike at River Avenue Blues looked at what San Diego got for Mat Latos, and figured an equivalent package from New York would have been Jesus Montero, Phil Hughes, Austin Romine, and Adam Warren. I think the package I laid out in the first sentence is better than that, which makes up for the different between Mat Latos and Matt Garza. Maybe even a bit too much more.
The final reason I think this could happen is that the Yankees could look ahead at the cost of Cole Hamels. Without making any more moves this offseason (at least not big ones), I truly believe the Yanks would be in on Cole Hamels… assuming Cole does hit free agency.  Well I think Cole could see a contract of like 6 years and $120 million. Well, by signing Jackson and trading for Garza this offseason, the team could avoid giving out another big contract in terms of years and money. Which by 2014 could save them a good chunk of money.
So I could see the Yankees entering the 2012 season with a rotation of CC Sabathia, Matt Garza, Edwin Jackson, Ivan Nova, and AJ Burnett/Freddy Garcia. Sounds pretty damn sweet to me.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)