As the moves are made the line ups become more clear as do the needs and weakness. The Yankees still have work to do , they need at least one more starting pitcher and they need to decide what they will do with left field.
With the Andy Pettite deal done the Yankees are still in need of a starting pitching. They could handle this internally with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes . I’m thinking that maybe for one of the two spots. I believe that the other spot will be filled from the outside via trade or free agency. There have been a handful of names that have been mentioned in connection with the Yankees. The two biggest names are Roy Halladay and John Lackey. Lackey is the biggest name in the free agent market and will command a hefty price tag as well. Probably out of the Yankees price range but you never know its not our money. As for Roy Halladay the Blue Jays are asking for Jesus Montero and either Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain plus others. This seems a bit steep for a 32 year old pitcher even if he is one of the best in baseball. I would give one of Montero ,Hughes or Chamberlain and perhaps another young pitching prospect . Still hurts but a more appropriate level of pain. There are a couple of other less attractive names out there. Jason Marquis and Rich Harden are two less expensive options that could be consolation prizes. I like harden if he is healthy. He has a proven track record in the American League and if healthy could return to form. Rich didn’t have a great 2009 going 9-9 but he did have less hits than innings pitched and he is only 28 years old. Another thing that might attract the Yankees is that he states a willingness to take a one year deal to prove his worth. Signing harden under this circumstance could be a low risk high reward type situation. He is not going to get Andy Pettite money but I would give him Brad Penny money. One year 8 million for Harden seems like a good signing to me and doesn’t brake the bank.
Maybe they could use that extra money to sign a left fielder. I have to believe they would love to sign Matt Holiday. Probably to expensive, but sometimes Cashman can work his magic and make things happen. Realistically I look for them to resign Damon and use Gardner in Left as well. Damon could DH and Play in the field when facing a Lefty starter allowing Gardner to play center on those days to keep Granderson away from the Lefties. Trading Melky would not be a bad move while he still has some value. He is a decent player but soon his salary is going to be higher than his worth and will make trading him more difficult.
While work has been done there is still a bunch yet to happen. I will keep my finger on the pulse of it and keep you posted but for now here are my predictions.
1. Lackey will sign with the Red Sox
2. Halladay will end up with the Angels
3. The Yankees will sign Rich Harden to a one year deal
4. The Yankees will sign Aroldis Chapman to a major league contract but will most likely spend 2010 in the minors and be ready to step into the rotation in 2011
5. Phil Hughes will be the fifth starter
6 Joba Chamberlain will set up for Mariano
7.Melky Cabrera will be traded for three decent prospects
8. The Yankees will sign Damon to a one year deal with a mutual option for a second year
9. Matt Holiday will sign with a surprise team that comes out of the blue
10. Jason Bay will sign a four year deal with the Red Sox
11. The Yankees will non tender Chien Ming Wang.
But then again maybe I’m all wrong and none of the above will happen. But it will be fun to see how close I am.