That’s Settled

Word from ESPN is that the Yanks have pulled their offer for Johan Santana off the table. They’re out of the sweepstakes for good unless Hank changes his mind again. In other words, things have changed, but then again, maybe they haven’t.

If you’ve been following the rumors, there are signs that the Mets have taken the lead in the slow-speed walking race that this chase for Santana has become. That’s fine with me. If the Yanks are, in fact, out of it, then let’s go Mets! (F-A-N! followed by the jingle.) The Sox getting Santana would be pretty rough.

So let’s pretend that the Yanks are truly not getting Santana. How should the Yanks go about setting up their rotation? Andy Pettitte and Chien-Ming Wang will take the first two spots. Then you have the three young guys and Old Man Mussina. Joe Girardi has already nixed the idea of a six-man rotation. But the Big Three are surely going to need limits on their workloads–especially Hughes and Joba. So what do you say? If you’re the New Joe, what would you do?

40 comments… add one

  • Wang
    Pettite
    Mussina
    Hughes
    Chamberlain
    With Kennedy rotating in for Moose, Hughes, and Joba regularly. Something like a 5.5 man rotation. It’ll probably be a pretty fluid process- if Kennedy does great, and Moose is too rusty, IPK will probably get more time.
    I think it’s probably even smarter than a 6-man, anyway. This way, if the starting five are all doing well, Kennedy can just fill in as necessary to keep everyone strong. But if one of the starters gets banged up a bit, Kennedy is available to ease the strain a bit. Plus, it should get everybody ready for 2009, when Joba, Hughes, and IPK will all be starters.

    KurticusMaximus- YF January 14, 2008, 12:58 pm
  • As long as Mussina is a Yankee he will be a starter. As for the other 4, you have Wang, Pettitte, Hughes, Joba. The trouble comes in with Cashman now saying that Joba will be limited in his innings. So what does that mean? Will he max out at 6 innings? Once he hits 150 he goes to the bullpen? This is a disaster waiting to happen for all players not named Wang, Pettitte and Hughes. Mussina hates to be skipped, he needs normalcy. IPK can’t be asked to spot start until July then replace Joba and expect him to be sharp. Joba is the future of this staff, but if he’s going to pitch, let him pitch. You can’t have 3 pitchers, 2 spots and a lot of grey area.
    As for the Mets getting Santana, please God let that happen!

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 1:06 pm
  • KM, the only issue I see with that plan is that, by most accounts, Kennedy is viewed as the most major-league ready (not the best one, just the most ready). He’s also prepared to throw more innings based on previous workload. I can see and like a 5.5 rotation, but I’m guessing Hughes/Joba might be the ones who shuttle in and out of it.
    There are indications, however, that Joba will start the year in the bullpen.

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 1:07 pm
  • Having 3 promising stars like Hughes, IPK and Joba is great, no doubt about it. Problem is you can’t be the Yankees and have 3 young arms in your rotation and expect normal Yankee results. Have 3 pitchers on pitch counts and inning restrictions is going to KILL this bullpen. Add Mussina to that mix and this could spell trouble. I hate to sound pesimistic but I don’t see how this can work.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 1:16 pm
  • The Yanks managed a decent season with Carl Pavano as their opening day starter. I don’t see this situation being as bad as last season’s.

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 1:22 pm
  • Approximately 1450 innings in a season.
    Wang 200
    AP 200
    (Mussina hasn’t thrown 200 since 2003.)
    Mussina 175
    Hughes 175
    That leaves 700 innings between the #5 starter, the spot starter and the bullpen. That’s a ton of innings. The same issues are going to arise as last season. Hawkins will be the new Vizcaino (who was the new Proctor.) This team’s core is set to win now, do you think they care about pitch counts and inning restrictions? It puts stress on the bullpen and it puts stress on the offense. It could work, I just don’t see how right now.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 1:41 pm
  • In comparison the Red Sox got 922 innings from Beckett, Daisuke, Wake, Schilling, Tavarez, Lester and Buchholz.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 1:48 pm
  • Hey, it’s not ideal, but, again, look at last season. There were a ton of innings eaten by the likes of Igawa, Wright, Karstens and a pretty mediocre bullpen. My feeling is that there are better young arms now ready to pitch at the major league level that can likely do an equal to better job than was done last season eating those innings.
    But I also wouldn’t be surprised if this is a step-back year. You’re right that maybe moves should be made for now given that the core position players is on the older side. But I worry that a Santana trade is too costly.

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 1:49 pm
  • If my memory is right, the 2007 opening rotation was:
    1. Wang
    2. Pettitte
    3. Mussina
    4. Pavano
    5. Igawa
    Yowza!

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 1:56 pm
  • I am absolutely fine with this season being a growth year, but I don’t know that the rest of NY feels the way you and I do. Again the core of this team does not have the time to wait for 3 pitchers to develop and have the kid gloves taken off. I don’t want to lose Phil. He’s going to be a solid pitcher, but if we could have Johan added to this team most of those ifs go away. The stress on the bullpen reduces, the offense doesn’t have to press, etc…

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:06 pm
  • I am absolutely fine with this season being a growth year, but I don’t know that the rest of NY feels the way you and I do. Again the core of this team does not have the time to wait for 3 pitchers to develop and have the kid gloves taken off. I don’t want to lose Phil. He’s going to be a solid pitcher, but if we could have Johan added to this team most of those ifs go away. The stress on the bullpen reduces, the offense doesn’t have to press, etc…

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:07 pm
  • Here’s another question? At this point could Santana be had without Hughes? The Mets package does not have a pitcher of even Kennedy’s potential. What if they went in with Kennedy, Tabata, Melky and Horne? That deal on paper at least looks better then what the Mets are offering. Problem is does that then allow the Sox to counter offer.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:20 pm
  • At this point could Santana be had without Hughes?
    I don’t think so, unless the Sox stop offering Ellsbury or Lester — packages the Twins (reportedly, for what it’s worth) already like better, despite the presence of Hughes.
    I also am rooting for the Mets scenario. Keep the kids, and the Yanks don’t get Santana. That works for me. But I don’t believe for a second the Yankees are out of it.

    Paul SF January 14, 2008, 2:29 pm
  • Oh I agree 100% Paul. That’s the problem. If the Sox were not in the equation, I think the Yankees offer sans Hughes is still better then the Mets, but definitely not better then the Sox of course.
    If I had my choice between the Sox and Mets, that one should be obvious.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:34 pm
  • John, if the Mets off includes Fernando Martinez then the Yanks would have to give up Hughes to beat it. But is he not on the table yet?

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 2:35 pm
  • Fernando Martinez is 19.
    Deolis Guerra is 18.
    Kevin Mulvey projects as a 3 or 4.
    Kennedy can be inserted into the rotation now and be that 3 or 4. The Yankees could also package players comparable to Martinez (Tabata), Guerra (Horne) and even include a major league ready Cabrera. Unfortunately Theo (rightly so) would never let that deal happen without a counter.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:43 pm
  • Nick, if you go by numbers I think Tabata trumps Martinez.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 2:46 pm
  • I didn’t read your post correctly. I thought you meant IPK would replace Hughes in the current offer.

    Nick-YF January 14, 2008, 2:58 pm
  • He would.
    I would offer this:
    IPK
    Tabata
    Horne
    Cabrera
    In my mind that offer is better then what the Mets are offering. The Yankees would be giving them 2 players ready to contribute in 2008 and that are still very young. In addition you give them two future stars in Horne and Tabata. The Mets would be giving them all futures. Mulvey and Horne are interchangable. Martinez and Tabata, comparable. Guerra vs. Kennedy, is a matter of now and known versus unknown.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 3:04 pm
  • To me I would rather have Gardner in CF (or a FA CF’r) and 600 innings (between Johan, Wang and Pettitte) then Melky and our current innings/SP situation.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 3:07 pm
  • Omar Minaya, genius that he is, has managed to develop a farm system so weak that it’s still a debate whether his Top 5 prospects are better than three- and four-player packages from the Sox and Yanks that include at most two of the teams’ three or four top prospects.
    That’s impressively bad, particularly considering how badly his team needs Santana.

    Paul SF January 14, 2008, 3:38 pm
  • // They’re out of the sweepstakes for good unless Hank changes his mind again. //
    Kind of like how I’m unavailable unless Gisele Bundchen and Carla Bruni want to come back to my place.
    Mr. Hanky has no credibility. Zero.

    Hudson January 14, 2008, 3:42 pm
  • Reason #71 why I’m a little concerned about the upcoming Mets season:
    I want the Mets to trade for Johan Santana… and the Yanks fans and Sox fans here are rooting for that too.
    Not that that doesn’t make sense; as a Sox fan, I’d be afraid Boston might overpay. As a Mets fan, I’m not even sure the Mets COULD overpay (with minor-leaguers, that is).
    To Paul’s point, I’ve been planning all winter to write a devastating takedown of Omar Minaya’s excruciating blueprint for almost-success, but the closest I could get was to rip into the Lastings Milledge trade. A more thorough investigation into the fetidness of Omar’s transaction history and I’d be out for a month with a separated disbelief.
    Sorry for the open-thread comment; here, I’ll try to make it more topical:
    The Yankees should go with one more year of Joba in the bullpen (unless one of the 5 starters gets long-term injured). The rotation is, if anything, better than the April 2007 one, and with Joba in the 8th inning, the bullpen is better than the April 2007 one. And I do think NYC at-large would embrace a “growth” year, especially one like this. Who’s going to boo Phil Hughes or Joba off the mound if they struggle in 2008? Either nobody or idiots. The vets and the batters, sure, but I think people here are genuinely excited to see those three pitch, growing pains or no.
    Here’s another Johan question:
    If Santana somehow makes it to the trading deadline before being traded, how much is half a season worth to a team on the playoff bubble? Do the Twins at this point pack it in and wait for REAL desperation to set in among potential suitors? If the Twins botch the trade negotiations and let him walk, who signs him?
    Ahem… it’s been a slow day where I am.

    FenSheaParkway January 14, 2008, 4:42 pm
  • Q:If Santana somehow makes it to the trading deadline before being traded, how much is half a season worth to a team on the playoff bubble?
    A: jason place.

    sf rod January 14, 2008, 5:12 pm
  • Santana to the Mets is a win for the Sox, since from the start the Santana sweepstakes has been mostly a game of keep-away for the Sox — who already have a true #1 starter.
    But I would expect Theo to keep trying to get a bargain on Santana, i.e. to make a Lester-or-Ellsbury-but-not-both deal (plus prospects). That would still be a bargain, though I still would hate to lose the chance to see JEll work his magic in a full Fenway season.
    Baseball would be better off, though, with Johan not in either Boston or New York. If he goes to either, it turns an already disproportionate league into a total mismatch.

    Hudson January 14, 2008, 5:22 pm
  • Not trying to hijack this thread — but one month until pitchers and catchers report. Wooo Hooo.

    soxgirl January 14, 2008, 5:46 pm
  • If I’m Theo, I pull the Ellsbury offer now. With the Yanks (for now) out of the picture, you can stick to the Lester offer and if the Twinkies like that better than the Mets offer.. great. If not, also great.

    Dionysus January 14, 2008, 6:29 pm
  • The Sox might as well pull both offers. What do they care if the Mets are the only team interested anymore? It gets Johan out of the AL and (in theory) weakens the trade offer going to Minnesota. You know, unless this is just a bluff by the Yankees. Though really, I’m not even sure what would constitute a bluff at this point.

    FenSheaParkway January 14, 2008, 7:04 pm
  • I love how what I just wrote there is wacky fan-biased subterfuge for both of my teams. Don’t get to do that too often! Man, I love the hot stove.

    FenSheaParkway January 14, 2008, 7:08 pm
  • I agree with Dio. If Hughes isn’t on the table any longer, Ellsbury shouldn’t be either.
    Bill Smith might have managed to play his team out of the best packages the Twins were ever going to see for Santana. Oops.

    Paul SF January 14, 2008, 8:05 pm
  • Bill Smith ain’t no Terry Ryan.

    FenSheaParkway January 14, 2008, 8:09 pm
  • Kennedy, unless he struggles, will be given a normal slot in the rotation. Since he threw 160+ innings last year, he’s due for a full season, or near that anyway.
    Wang 200 (32 GS)
    AP 200 (32 GS)
    Hughes 170 (28 GS)
    Kennedy 190 (30 GS)
    Joba 150 (24 GS)
    Mussina/Whomever 100 (16 GS)
    If part of Joba’s innings go into the bullpen, his starts can be added to the ‘spot-starter’ crowd. Which is looking a lot stronger for 2008 by the way, with actual high-ceiling arms in Scranton.
    162 games, leaving 440 innings for the bullpen. Still a lot, but certainly not undoable, especially given the glut of bullpen pitchers the Yankees have in their system.
    Also, Mussina isn’t going to be given a regular rotation spot if he sucks. Who cares if he ‘likes regularity’, he’s not a central starter for the Yankees, he’s a buffer. He is most certainly not going to block a better-performing youngster, especially now with Torre gone.

    AndrewYF January 14, 2008, 9:22 pm
  • A 40 year old spot starter? I don’t see how that works unless Mussina suddenly learns to master the knuckleball. Especially with his rest requirements. Best case scenario he’s traded, that’s why I said in my original comment if he’s still with the team. Let one of the young kids fill the 6th spot. Gain experience and stay under the innings limitations. Send Mussina to the NL for some pen help.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 9:58 pm
  • What ‘rest requirements’? If you are saying that Mussina ‘requires’ a regular spot, you are sadly mistaken. He LIKES a regular spot, and is simply more vocal about it. If Mussina sucks, he’ll lose his rotation spot, and becomes a spot starter. He’ll just have to deal with it.
    I can see him start the year in the rotation and Joba in the ‘pen, and then be replaced later on. But he’s not going to take innings away from better-performing pitchers. He’s a buffer, plain and simple, not a key rotation member.

    AndrewYF January 14, 2008, 10:36 pm
  • Few Things:
    1. I am not saying put Mussina in the rotation or give him a regular role to make him happy. That’s how he works best. He is also 40, his recovery time is longer then the other options we have. He is not a spot starter. Name the last 40 year old spot starter that didnt’ throw a knuckleball? Again thats why you move him.
    2. Joba can’t start the year in the pen. If he starts in the pen, he will stay in the pen. If he is going to start this season he will start coming out of S.T. then go into the pen. The transition is far too difficult to do it the way you speak of. He needs to stretch himself out and that can only happen in S.T.

    John - YF January 14, 2008, 10:59 pm
  • I think the question on the rotation is “What the heck to do with Joba”. Most of the problems with him starting center on his innings limit, which we have heard is around 160-170.
    A full season of starts, with a 5 man rotation, is 35 starts. An average start is 6 innings. That means, if Joba pitched every start for the average, he’d pitch 210 innings, or between 30-40 too much.
    If he were around 28-29 starts, that would put him between 168 – 174 IP, the exact right number.
    That means he’d need to be skipped six starts throughout the season. Since the season is six months long (Apr, May, June, July, Aug, Sept) all that needs to happen is he gets skipped once a month.
    And that’s only if he is healthy enough to make every start available to him on the season.
    No need to mess with his head by bouncing him between the pen and the rotation. No need to have a 5.5 or 6 man rotation, messing with Pettitte, Wang and Mussina’s heads.
    Just skip him and use a spot starter once a month.

    ScottG January 16, 2008, 1:53 pm
  • Problem is this:
    1. I don’t think his innings limit will be higher then 150.
    2. The Yankees need Joba in September and October. He will need to save 30 or so of those innings for the late season push and playoffs (if we are that lucky).
    3. One way would be to add a veteran starter like Garcia, Lohse, etc…someone that could accept the role of #6/spot through late summer and then step into that #5 when Joba, IPK, Phil’s innings come close to their limits. (Garcia was Nick – YF’s idea. Not an original thought) Garcia may be a good solution considering he can’t pitch until June at the earliest anyway. This is a tricky situation, it will be interesting to see how Girardi handles it.

    John - YF January 16, 2008, 2:00 pm
  • I have read in several places that the limit was more toward 170. If that is not the limit, then that certainly throws a small wrench in. Not a large one – 20 IP is only 3 starts.
    I’ll try to find the article where I read 160 – 170, but I believe it was Nardi saying it. Pinstripes Plus maybe? I read so many that it’s tough to remember offhand =)
    Also – he’d probably only need to save 18 or so IP for the post-season since he’d likely only get one start in each of the three rounds of playoffs, should we advance that far.

    ScottG January 16, 2008, 3:08 pm
  • SF January 16, 2008, 3:15 pm
  • They are not going to disclose that, it would be foolish. But in Joba’s case I would imagine that 150 would be the ceiling. Especially because of two things, One his value to this franchise and Two, the fact that he hasn’t been a starter in some time. 150 is the general area that most are limited to early on in their careers. I think the scenario will be starter from the beginning with a jump to the pen in September and October if that time arises. Skipping starts and such could be counterproductive. But again, I don’t know for sure, it’s all speculation for now.

    John - YF January 16, 2008, 4:25 pm

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