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The Bullpen and the Fifth Starter(s)

Phil Hughes has an option if the Yanks send him down right away.

Joba Chamberlain has options, but with the expiration of the Joba Rules, any position but MLB starter makes last season's angst a waste.

Al Aceves has been brilliant this spring, and after his 10-1 record with a 1.012 WHIP last season, he's as much a lock for the pen as anyone not named Rivera.

Sergio Mitre looks as good as anyone this spring, less than a baserunner per inning while posting a K per inning. He's out of options.

Chad Gaudin has been ugly- 9.1 IP, 16 hits, and 5 BB. I don't think he was anything special last season (a hit per inning, but more than 4BB/9IP). Like Mitre, he is out of options. Last night, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that Gaudin and his non-guaranteed salary could be on the move very soon. This morning we got word that he's been placed on waivers. He'll either make $3M or he can be released for a quarter of that price.

There's talk that either Gaudin or Mitre could head to LA to bring Hoffman back to the Yanks, so he can be stashed in Scranton. Hopefully, it'll be Gaudin. Which means it'll probably be Mitre.

Even if Mitre is traded away, Gaudin should be gone soon.

That leaves Ace, Hughes and Joba for the 5th spot. My preference is Hughes. I could understand giving it to Joba to start the season, either with Hughes in the pen or in the minors.

But could the Yanks really go with the Mexican Gangster, as Joe G. hinted?

Girardi wouldn’t rule out anything. He said it’s possible both Hughes and Chamberlain end up in the bullpen. He said it’s possible — but unlikely — that someone goes to Triple-A.

Either Joba and Hughes lock down the bullpen, or Joba takes the 8th and Hughes goes to Scranton to work on his change and build up his arm strength, or Aceves goes down to AAA and waits for a spot on the staff to open up based on injury or ineffectiveness.

What would you do?