Not that they're involved in a debate or anything, but it's interesting to see what two of the better yanks fan analysts think about the same issue. On the one hand, you have Steve Lombardi's take at WasWatching:
If the Yankees want to be considered with the other big dogs in the
A.L. East this season, they must bring in a starting pitcher that they
can pencil into their 5th starting slot who is a lock for at least 25
starts and 150 quality innings. Leaving that last spot open and hoping
that someone steps forward from within the Yankees organization to own
it is a mistake.
On the other hand, you have Steven Goldman's view at the Pinstriped Bible:
Conversely, if the Yankees invest 20-25 starts in a young fifth starter
this year, they might get 30 starts a year for the next five, at prices
they control. There's a lot of value in that achievement and not much
risk. This is particularly true because given the team's depth in young
pitchers, they can pull the plug on any failing experiment very
quickly. Hughes not working out? Back to the Minors and ring in a new
Kennedy administration. Kennedy has a Bay of Pigs? It's Aceves time.
Aceves's arm falls off? Try Kontos. The point is, at the end of the
season you have something you didn't have before, an additional asset
to carry you forward into 2010.
There's that part of me that wants to buy Goldman's argument, especially since it means that a young arm gets a shot at the rotation. It's always nice when you see someone from the minors make it. One of the nicer stories in recent years has been Chien-Ming Wang's emergence. But I do think Lombardi has a point, especially if you factor in the relative unknown that is Joba Chamberlain's 2009 innings total.
It will be interesting to see what the Yanks decide to do. What's your take?