Friday, October 30, 2015

The Free Agency Royal Rumble Returns – Starting Pitching

Last year around this time the blog was in full offseason mode with our eyes, as writers, on the 2015 season. The World Series was over and all 30 MLB teams were making their shopping lists and checking it twice for the winter so I thought this year we would do the same with the return of the Free Agency Royal Rumble. This is a bit of a play on the popular WWE PPV, the Royal Rumble, as we pit all the potential starting pitching targets for the New York Yankees and see which one wins the rumble (and is most likely to sign with the club).

The participants in the 2015 Free Agency Royal Rumble for starting pitchers are David Price, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Jordan Zimmerman, Zack Greinke and Wei-Yin Chen. Men, take your positions the rumble is about to begin.

Immediately the group begins to wrestle and Zack Greinke, feeling his anxiety kick up and wondering what it would be like being booed off the Yankee Stadium field like the team was during the AL Wild Card Game, throws himself over the top rope and eliminates himself from the competition. The rest of the competitors take this opportunity to work together while they still can to get David Price up and over the top rope before his $30 million expected AAV on the wrong side of 30-years old and his postseason demons and monkey’s on his back make it impossible to take him out. Four remain.

Johnny Cueto walks up to Jordan Zimmerman and takes a peak at the contract he is said to be asking for that will undoubtedly set the market and wants to mimic Zimmerman’s demands with his own. Zimmerman catches Cueto peaking and reminds him of his numbers after switching to the American League and his postseason numbers as he throws him over the top rope to eliminate him. While this is happening Mike Leake, the opportunist, is also sneaking a peak at Zimmerman’s proposed contract demands and gets offended that he won’t make that for the rest of his career, let alone in one contract, and throws Zimmerman over the top rope while he is distracted leaving just two contestants remaining.

Mike Leake and Wei-Yin Chen. Leake has been active, eliminating Zimmerman, but Chen has quietly been sitting back resting and waiting for the opportunity. Chen is an ace in the making but is never mentioned alongside the other aces in this market and that has visibly angered him. Chen rushes at Leake intending to take out his frustrations on the former Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants right-hander and knocks him over the rope and to the floor. The problem is his momentum also carries himself over the rope and to the floor leaving no clear cut winner for the Yankees.

Chen is probably the best suited for the Yankees because he won’t command an astronomical contract in terms of years and dollars despite being American League East tested and Leake is the most likely for the same reasons, just on a lesser scale than Chen. With the Yankees already having a ton of depth, although no defined ace as we stand today, it seems unlikely that either are signed, or anyone in this field for that matter. The Yankees may take this rumble as a sign to stand pat here this winter. 

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