Thursday, November 1, 2018

Do The Yankees Need To Add Two Elite Starters?

Pitching wins. Just ask an Astros fan.

You've heard the phrase "pitching wins championships" used in multiple sports, many times. Which has led to a plethora of Yankees fans to beg Brian Cashman to somehow acquire a top starter or two every season since... well... the beginning of the franchise? I don't know for sure, but it seems like as long as I've conversed with other Yankees fans I've heard the words "they need pitching" said quite a bit.

Well, how about we take a look at the fWAR (Fangraphs' version of WAR is better for pitching) of a couple of team's pitching staffs from 2018...

Team A 
Starters - 16.9
Releivers - 9.7
Total - 26.6

Team B
Starters - 15.8
Relievers - 4.9
Total - 20.6

Before I go on how about we add offense to the mix? I wouldn't want you thinking that one of those teams above is far and away better at scoring runs, and thus the question was pointless. So here is the bWAR for each team (Baseball Reference's version of WAR is better for batting)...

Team A - 29.5
Team B - 27.3

Looking at thoses numbers you'd probably say that Team A is clearly better. Well, based on which team hoisted the Commissioner's Trophy the other night, you'd be wrong. Because Team B is the Boston Red Sox. And wouldn't you know it? Team A is the New York Yankees.

It's true that championships are not won on paper. On paper, Brian Cashman could construct the greatest team of all time, but they can still fall short when it comes to actually playing the game. And that's what happened last season.

So while it's true that the Yankees don't need Bryce Harper's or Manny Machado's offensive output for 2019, there will come a time when they are happy to have it. Besides, when a talent like Harper and Machado, who are still in their mid-20s, becomes available for nothing more than money, then you go for it. Especially when you're the Yankees and you have plenty of money to spend.

Another reality is that the Yankees don't need to add two elite pitchers to the rotation. Adding Patrick Corbin, and one of CC Sabathia or J.A. Happ, makes it possible for the Yankees to take a chance on a young starter from another team via trade (like Nick Pivetta), or even from their own stock of prospects (Justus Sheffield, Chance Adams, etc.).

If you want numbers to back that up, here you go...

2018 fWAR
Luis Severino - 5.7
Patrick Corbin - 6.3
Masahiro Tanaka - 2.7
CC Sabathia - 2.5
Total - 17.2

As long as the fifth starter doesn't produce a negative fWAR for the Yankees in 2019 they don't need to make a huge trade for somebody like Jameson Taillon, Madison Bumgarner, or Zack Greinke.

Which is why trading Miguel Andujar is unnecessary. Miggy would either be used to get a top starter, who is not needed, or for Paul Goldschmidt, which would be a waste since Goldy is only signed through the next season.

There is one area that the Yankees truly need to improve upon, but I'll save that discussion for another time.


  1. Good Show Bryan!
    I must say, I have not been one asking for a great pitcher, nice to have but not needed. I was asking for Machado, but changed my mind because of Miguel. I didn't want to have him playing for someone else. He is young and can learn better defense. The Great Lou G did, he came up as us be kind...and say less then average 1st baseman.
    Harper fits the teams needs much better than Machado...good OF, very good left handed hitter (with power) and knows the game.
    Montgomery will be back by the end of the 2019 year...right!??

    1. Andujar is 23, I don't understand why you think he can get better. He had one on one instruction regularly with one of the best 3rd baseman I've ever seen. Talented fielders show their talent--Correa, torres, lindor, all showed their athletic abilities when they were 17. This dude moves like an old lady. Ken, you probably have better range than him.
      Love the bat, but don't want him anywhere near the field, and it's not like hes carrying a bat like Miguel Cabrera and we can deal with it.

      If these jackasses think adding Patrick Corbin to the rotation, Daniel Murphy, old man gardner, with hopes that clint frazier gets over his headache, and banking on the ostrich Luis severino to bounce back, I'm full time going to cricket.

      Spend the 300 mil on harper. It'll pay for itself in a quarter of the time.

    2. Daryl, most players are not even ready for the Big Show at 23 years old. The players you named are destined for stardom...nobody thinks of Andujar as being a star player, just a star hitter! I admit, I am a nut on very good defense but one must remember; where he came from, hitting gets one to the USA and a contract to play here not defense!

  2. Ring, Ring, Ring!..Hello, Los Angles Dodgers, GM Farhan Zaidi speaking..

    Hi, Farhan, this is Brian Cashman, how the hell are you?

    Brian, I am so depressed. We lost to those F'n Sox! I want to kill myself ,
    and my children. I hate those Sox!

    Farhan, you're not Irish are you?
    No, I am Muslim. The first baseball Muslim GM. Why do you ask, Brian?

    No, Nothing really. I just thought you may have had a sense of humor.

    Seriously Farhan, not to joke, but you came close. Nice try.
    Want to win it all in 2019?...Need something to put you over the top ?

    Brian, like what are you saying, man ! Like I can win ?

    You bet, Farhan. The magic secret, the missing piece is, Giancarlo Stanton !
    You pick up the contract, and he is all yours. Rock on, my brother.

    Yes Brian...yes,yes,yes. May Allah bless you ! I will fax you the money,
    to obtain Stanton ! NOW WE WIN !! ( cheers in the back ground )

    Good move, Farhan. Genius!
    Want the dagger to really get even with the Sox ? Try Jacoby Ellsbury!

    Brian...Forgot about him. Sign me up. Almost forgot...Is Lois Cessa
    available also ?

    Sure Farhan, I'll fax over the paperwork. Try to expedite.

    Don't laugh. It could happen. It should happen.


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