Well Friday 2/4/2011 is the day that Andy Pettitte officially announced his retirement and as much as I hoped he would come back I had a strong feeling he would retire this year. With the Yankees losing out on Cliff Lee and every other remotely desirable Free Agent Starter we have to wonder who will man the Yankees Rotation not just this year but for the next few years. If the Yankees had given Lee the rumored 7 year deal then he would have been pitching on the team until 2017 and he was 39. Right now the Yankees Rotation looks like:
Sabathia LHP, AJ Burnett RHP, Phil Hughes RHP, Ivan Nova RHP and one of the all RHP Sergio Mitre, Bartolo Colon, Mark Prior, Freddy Garcia and possible Andrew Brackman. Overall not something we hoped for especially with the Left handed heavy Sox. The Yankees will more than likely make a move for a 4th Starter who is hopefully a lefty and the Yankees have to hope that Burnett is better, Nova is a least decent and Hughes has a year like last year, the only player who I don't have any concerns about is Sabathia and he will continue to be a workhorse for the Yankees. The Yankees could try for a deal with any number of pitchers but they wont be King Felix, Josh Johnston, Johan Santana or anyone from the Red Sox or Phillies not named Joe Blanton. Unfortunately for the Yankees there are a lot of teams looking for starting pitching and the Yankees won't want to take any pitchers with long term deals due to some very good pitching prospects who are getting very close to being MLB ready. There is a good article about possible pitchers for the Yankees staff and the two I think are the most likely are Paul Maholm from the pirates who would likely take a scattered assortment of crap prospects for the 30 year old lefty, the other possibility is Edwin Jackson who could be trade bait for some decent relievers especially if the White Sox struggle.
The 2012 rotation could still feature 4 of the 5 starters from the 2011 rotation, but the Yankees rotation could see the addition of Japanese ace Yu Darvish who has said that he will post himself in 2012 and at 26 is considered to be the best Starting pitcher in Japan right now. I seriously doubt anyone would outbid the Yankees for Darvish if the Yankees want him and unless they find gold in both a trade and Nova they will want him. The dominant RHP would turn the Yankees rotation around and leave the 5th starting job for Nova or one of the Yankees other top Pitching prospects. This is of course hoping that Sabathia won't opt out which i don't expect him to.
In 2013 the Yankees will enter a slight conundrum as AJ Burnett will enter the last year of his contract and i'm willing to bet that the all of the Killer B's will be at or near MLB ready, however unless he is extended David Price will also be entering the last year of his contract with Tampa and the rays may look to move him for prospects. The Yankees could trade for the Lefty who will be 28 but the Rays may ask for more than the Yankees will be willing to give, especially within the division. If the Yankees did trade for Price they could either trade Burnett or move him down in the rotation. A likely package for Price could be Brackman, Nova and another top prospect. The Yankees could also sign Price in the off-season but they might not want to fork over the draft pick especially if the Killer B's develop the way they want them to.
2014 has a number of possible Yankees rotations including:
Sabathia, Price, Darvish, Hughes, Banuelos/Betances or
Sabathia, Darvish, Hughes, Brackman, Banuelos/ Betances or
Sabathia, Hughes, Brackman, Banuelos, Betances/Nova or any other combination of back end pitchers
The future looks bright for the Yankees rotation but still we ended the 2010 season thinking we would have a rotation of:
Sabathia, Lee, Hughes, Pettitte and Burnett and instead we are looking at Sanbathia, Hughes, Burnett, Nova, Colon/Garcia/Prior/Mitre. The one good thing is that the current rotation will change as the season progresses and possibly before opening day. The worst part is that the offense could be awesome this year, but we will need a rotation to back it up.
Check out the original post on my blog: A True Yankee