Let me say first off: I am fine with the Yankees only signing Pettitte and one other free agent starter. I would like that starter to be CC, but either way, I think Hughes/Aceves can slot into the 5 hole just fine. Signing Pettitte is the biggest priority because he (presumably) wants a one year deal (or two at most). The Yankees envision Wang, Hughes, Joba, Brackman, and possibly others (McAllister, Kennedy, etc) as long term starting solutions. As such, they don’t want to block too many of their young guys by signing current free agents to long term deals. If they get Sabathia, that’s one less rotation spot for the next 6 years, at least. Do they want to tie up another spot?
Well, it looks like the answer is yes, as supposedly the Yanks want either AJ Burnett or Derek Lowe to go along with CC.
Fine. The initial thinking by many, including myself, was sign Lowe. Think of the positives: shorter contract, healthy and reliable innings eater, pitched in the AL, etc.
Burnett? Often injured, overrated, will want a long term deal, etc.
However, it now appears like most teams are using that logic and Lowe’s price is going up. MLB Trade Rumors suggests Lowe wants something in the 4 year, $64 million range. That’s very close to what most teams have been offering Burnett.
Now sure Burnett is injury prone, but think of the following: he’s 5 years younger than Lowe; he is a strikeout pitcher; he’s shown the Yankees first hand that he can pitch in the AL East, while Lowe has thrived in the NL.
The thinking was that Lowe would be a better value, but if he commands the same contract, you’d have to think Burnett is actually the better value – especially for a team like the Yankees who can afford to pay for upside.
Even if the Yanks have to give Burnett a 5th year (which I hope would be a vesting option based on IP, but whatever), given their respective ages, that’s much more reasonable than signing Lowe until he’s 40.