Sure, it would be great for the Yankees to sign Max Scherzer and/or James Shields. Signing both would definitely shape things up for their questionable rotation. But would another right-handed pitcher really help the Yankees to where they want to go?
Great lefty pitchers at Yankee Stadium in October, is a left-handed hitters worst nightmare.
Knowing that lefty Andy Pettitte is gone and gone for good, and C.C Sabathia, whose coming off that serious knee surgery in the offseason, might not be the same intimidating left-hander in the league anymore. So instead of another right-handed pitcher, Yankees might be better off looking for a top of the rotation, left-handed starter.
Just look at the past Yankee success… In those championship/playoff teams, they always had a lefty starters in the rotation. From Pettitte to Sabathia, Jimmy Key, David Wells, Randy Johnson.
Pettitte and Sabathia alone, were pretty successful together. Both pitchers were the first lefty duo in a rotation, to bring the Yankees a championship and multiple ALCS appearances since Pettitte and Wells from the dynasty era.
Lefties are what the Yankees always liked and lefties are what made them so damn successful, in the past twenty years.
But where can the Yanks look to acquire an elite lefty starter? In the trade market! They aren’t any lefties in the free agent market, but they’re a couple of them on the block and one that might, could, get traded.
Cole Hamels is the top (forget pitcher) player whose on the trade market, this offseason. The Philadelphia Phillies were asking for the moon for Hamels and looked like the Yankees didn’t have chance with their weak farm system. But with the trades they’ve made in recent weeks, getting a lot of young arms and position players, they could jump in the Hamels sweepstakes.
Yankees could help the Phillies, in a way most teams can’t — and that’s by taking some of the contracts the Phillies would love to get rid of. And ironically, one of those contracts is another pretty damn good left hander — Cliff Lee.
I don’t know if the Yankees can get Hamels, but they sure can get Lee right now.
I actually see the Yankees not getting Scherzer and Shields, and winding up with Lee. Lee will make $25 million this upcoming season and $27 million in 2016, but has $12 million dollar buyout in ’16. So…it’s almost like acquiring Lee for one year. Yankees can easily buyout that $12 million in 2016.
I know some Yankee fans wouldn’t want to go after Lee, but I would. If Masahiro Tanaka is healthy, him and Lee on the top of the rotation would be a pretty tough combo for any lineup.
Or a Hamels, Lee and Tanaka rotation would spell: WORLD SERIES.
Then there’s David Price. The Detroit Tigers haven’t showed a big yellow sign saying ‘Price is available’, but if they re-sign Scherzer, which could very well happen, Price could become available.
I wouldn’t be shocked if the Yankees acquired Price this offseason. With the relationship the Tigers and Yankees have, and with Price making so much sense for the Yankees, it’s not impossible.
I always felt like the Yankees would love to get Price, to replace Sabathia. If Price was a free agent this offseason, they would’ve signed him. They’re some players on other teams, who look like future Yankees — Price’s one of those players.
So sure, a Scherzer or Shields would be great. But wouldn’t an elite left handed starter, make more sense? I think it does.