The Aftermath of the Soriano Signing

In the case that you have yet to hear the news, the Yankees have agreed to a deal with free agent reliever Rafael Soriano worth $35M over the course of three years. The deal includes opt out options for Soriano after each year of the deal, but that doesn’t really benefit the Yankees in any way. Obviously Soriano will improve the 2011 team, however, his deal could significantly hamper the Yankees in 2012 and 2013. I’m not a fan of this deal because of the inflexibility it brings to the roster and the payroll, but there is something that I feel would make it better deal.

"Joba's talent is wasted in the bullpen." (Getty Images via Daylife)

 

The signing of Soriano obviously affects Joba Chamberlain. With Mariano Rivera and Rafael Soriano manning the ninth and eight inning, Joba is left as either a seventh or sixth inning pitcher, depending on David Robertson. The only thing more wasteful for Joba than putting him in the bullpen is to have in such an unimportant role. It is time for the Yankees to do something with Chamberlain. I advocate that the Yankees either trade Joba or give him a shot at the rotation which sorely needs help, preferably the latter. Let’s all remember, Joba is only 25 years old, with plenty of room to develop into a great starter. But even if you believe Joba has reached his ceiling, there is no denying that he is better than Sergio Mitre. The Yankees have been looking for starters all offseason because they aren’t comfortable with both Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre being in the prospective rotation, but they have had a viable starter right in their hands their whole time in Joba, and now with the Soriano signing, it is time to move Joba to the rotation.

Cashman against Soriano signing?

Just a few days prior to the signing of Rafael Soriano, Brian Cashman specifically said he would not give up the Yankees 31st pick in the 2011 draft to sign anyone. However, in signing Soriano, the Yankees did just that. So did Cashman have a change of heart? Well, according to Buster Olney the signing was “ownership-driven.” Peter Gammons takes this further and says that team president Randy Levine was directly responsible for the Soriano deal. What does this all mean? Well, if ownership did really go over Cashman’s head, then it is an ominous sign. Remember, Brian Cashman did not take full control of the team until 2005, and it is clear that prior to that, when the ownership was running the team, many unwise moves were made and the farm system was ignored. Then again in 2007, ownership led by Hank Steinbrenner went over Cashman’s head and signed Alex Rodriguez the monstrous ten-year deal he is currently serving. Hopefully, this doesn’t start becoming a patter, because if it does I fear what could happen to the Yankees.

Pettitte Won’t Pitch in 2011

We have recently learned that Andy Pettitte will not pitch in 2011. Although this news is not surprising to many, it is worth recognizing. Here’s what Brian Cashman had to say.

via The Daily News:

“I don’t think he’s determined if he’s officially finished or not, but he’s chosen at this stage at least not to start in 2011. If that ever changes he’ll call us. We’re not going to hound him or bother him.”

Clarification via Tyler Kepner:

Cashman said he just used a poor choice of words when he told DN that Pettitte has “chosen not to start.” He meant “chosen not to pitch”.

While it’s nice to envision a scenario in which Pettitte changes his mind and returns the Yankees in 2011, I think it is safe to say that will not happen. We will just have to face the fact that Andy Pettitte will not be pitching for the Yankees this season and they will have to turn to other options. Allow me to quote Brian Cashman again via The Daily News, this time regarding to the pitching market.

“I’m actively out there. It’s a very thin market to be flying in right now. That’s why we may have to rely on our strong farm system a little bit sooner than we expected.”

With no free agent or trade options out there, it looks like the Yankees will start the season with in-house options filling the number four and five spots in the rotation. However, this is no reason to panic. Compare this year’s rotation to last year’s rotation. CC Sabathia is CC Sabathia. How much worse can A.J. Burnett be? A better year from him isn’t that unlikely. Phil Hughes could post similar numbers to those of last year. Ivan Nova (most likely) will theoritically take over Pettitte’s spot in the rotation, and the difference between the two may not be as great as it seems. And finally, an unknown fifth starter will take over the spot which Javier Vazquez has vacated, and we all know what most Yankee fans think of Vazquez.

Right now, 2011 looks to be a promising year for the Yankees. And even if they do not make a significant move during the rest of the off season, you can rest assured that there will be transactions made during the season.

2010 in review

Now that 2010 is over, I’d like to say thank you to all my readers and fellow bloggers. I couldn’t keep this blog up if you guys didn’t continue reading it so I really appreciate your loyalty. While I’m at it, I post this neat statistics summary that WordPress devised:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

In 2010, there were 94 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 294 posts. There were 251 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 20mb. That’s about 5 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was July 9th with 178 views. The most popular post that day was Lee to the Yankees almost done…never mind .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were fridayniteyanks.wordpress.com, yankees.lhblogs.com, demolitionofyankeestadium.com, zellspinstripeblog.com, and mlb.fanhouse.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for question mark, mark teixeira, yankees logo, whitey ford, and curtis granderson.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Lee to the Yankees almost done…never mind July 2010
8 comments

2

What’s Wrong With The Yankees? June 2009
9 comments

3

Happy Teixeira Day! December 2009
4 comments

4

Minor League Affiliates June 2009
14 comments

5

Game 61: Mets at Yankees June 2009
2 comments