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The Right Moves

Joel Sherman

So far, the Yankees have gotten the offseason right, which for them means they have gotten pitching right.

They turned two players they had no intention of keeping for 2007 - Gary Sheffield and Jaret Wright - into four young, inexpensive arms that, at the least, provide organizational depth and roster flexibility and, at the most, in the case of Humberto Sanchez and Kevin Whelan, might offer major league impact.
They are close to re-enlisting Mike Mussina for two years at a time when they are fairly certain the righty still has 180-200 quality innings in him annually.

The Yanks would rather go short-term and pay heavy for a pitcher they like, notably Andy Pettitte if he decides to keep playing, or perhaps Roger Clemens. Failing that, they saw a World Series in which Jeff Suppan and Jeff Weaver were heroes. They feel they have upgraded their scouting and are as likely to pluck a pitcher who will need just a one- or two-year contract - think Miguel Batista or Adam Eaton - who will pitch as well as, say, Padilla at a fraction of the cost. That is the right notion.

Losing Matsuzaka was pretty bad, but nobody is complaining about the money the Red Sox spent to get him if the reports are correct. I disagree with Joel over Jaret Wright, I love Cashman, but that was a bad signing. Getting a decent relief pitcher doesn't make up for the blunder in the first place. And let's not forget Pavano. OK, maybe we should. The Yanks will not sign Zito for five years at any cost above 10 million per, so he'll probably end up in the National league where he belongs.

Randy's back is...Randy's back. Does anybody feel like he can contribute anything but nasty looks at Kim Jones?

I like Meche and he should be the guy targeted, but pitching prices always go wild because some foolish GM will jack up the price like the Mets did with Amber Benson.