Mood Music - War Pigs by Black Sabbath
Using name-puns in the title of a post.
I have never much cared for the thought of signing free agent starting pitcher Cliff Lee to a mega deal. Given some of the smoke being wafted about the potential price-tag of a marriage with Lee, I have become even more convinced that such a deal is not in the best long term interest of the Yankees. However, it would certainly be nice to have quality starting pitching that extends beyond CC Sabathia.
I'm going to take a look at a solution that's been thrown around before, but not fully fleshed out. The Yankees should sign Yu Darvish in the 2011 offseason, enabling them to field a 2012 rotation of CC Sabathia, Yu Darvish, Phil Hughes, A.J. Burnett, Nova/Betances/Banuelos/Brackman/#5 Starter To Be Acquired Later.
Go watch this video. And now look at this table (from Wikipedia):
Wow. More after the jump:
I don't care what league you play in or who you play against, throwing pitches like that and accumulating those numbers is darn impressive. Darvish has compiled significantly better numbers at an earlier age than the pitcher against whom he will always be measured, Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Given the Kei Igawa disaster and Daisuke Matsuzaka's proclivity to transform into Oliver Perez at the drop of a hat, I can understand why there would be some apprehension about acquiring Darvish. Conservatively, I would project that it would take a posting fee of $65MM and a contract worth $80MM for whoever wins the Darvish sweepstakes. However, given his absolutely dominant performance at every level, his array of pitches, his durability (check the innings totals and number of complete games), and the fact that he's two months younger than Phil Hughes, and I think this is a no-brainer.
I've got no problem giving the ball to Ivan Nova every 5th day in 2011 if it means we can get Darvish in 2012, and I'd much rather invest in Darvish in his mid to late 20s than in Lee in his mid to late 30s. Wherever this kid ends up, he's going to have a fantastic career, I just hope it's with the Yankees.
Now, for other things (as this was originally intended to be a news post):
A.J. Burnett was called the biggest turkey in a top 10 list compiled by Bill Madden of the NY Daily News. I'm not quite sure that I've ever seen this connotation assigned to the word "turkey" but it's certainly not something A.J. is going to be getting a tattoo to celebrate.
Mark Axisa of RAB looks deeper into A.J.'s struggles here and there is some speculation that an overhaul of his mechanics is in order.
A.J. Burnett is going to be a Yankee for the remainder of his contract; the idea that he could be traded was a pipe dream at best and lunacy at worst. There's no way that another team is going to take him off our hands, and as such, we really need him to right the ship. I think there's a very good chance that that happens, as Burnett is a much better pitcher than he showed last season.
The Minnesota Twins have won the right to negotiate with 26 year old Japanese shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka with a posting fee rumored to be in the neighborhood of $5MM. Nishioka hit .346/.423/.482 in 144 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2010.