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The Yankees are kicking the tires on various lefties

Feb 4, 2011, 12:12 PM EDT

Scott Kazmir AP

Andy Pettitte is gone. And it’s always the same after a breakup. The spurned one goes cruising for randoms:  Rosenthal reports that people in the Yankees front office are discussing Joe Saunders, Scott Kazmir, Wade LeBlanc, Clayton Richard and Gio Gonzalez.

It’s less a shopping list than a brainstorming session, it seems.  But it certainly doesn’t seem like the case that the Yankees are content to simply stand pat on the rotation.  As we discussed yesterday, depth is a concern.  Any of those guys — to the extent they’re actually available anyway — are good depth options.

The real issue right now is timing. We’re at the point of the offseason where most teams have talked themselves into liking their roster. Or at least they’ve talked their season ticket holders into liking it.  Thus there are few teams who are really going to want to give up a serviceable starting pitcher.  Unless it’s an overpay or the assumption of a truly odious contract  — which I don’t think the Yankees are willing to do just yet — teams will tend to wait for their seasons to go a little bit sideways before making trades.  As such, this is all so much spitballin’ at the moment.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    Scott Kazmir? Give me a break.

    • BC - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      Maybe they can fix him. Get him into spring training, start him in AAA and see what happens. If they fix him, they have a useful starter. If not, who cares, buh-bye.

  2. Dan in Katonah - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Dumped by someone nice and attractive (performance-wise) and then you get drunk and do something stupid (wake up in bed with Kazmir). I only wish that would happen to the Yankees.

    • trevorb06 - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      And just to think they’ve already been with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia… which means they’ve basically been with everybody they have gotten with as well. I always knew the Yankees would stoop this low. *Clap Clap*

    • spudchukar - Feb 4, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      With the Yanks cash they should at least be able to “rent” some high-class eye candy for a few months.

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Obviously Gonzalez of the group mentioned would be a very nice addition. But probably the least likely of the group to be available. Clay Richard could be an interesting possibility, depending on what the Padres were looking for in return. Although the Red Sox and Theo seem to consider the Padres as their private farm system. As for the others hopefully all the Yankees find that their tires (Saunders, LaBlanc and Kizmir) are flat.

    • spudchukar - Feb 4, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      While Saunders has a lot of miles on him, he certainly is an upgrade over the junkers they have recently signed. LaBlanc seems serviceable too. At least he can get you from one place to another, without serious breakdown. Kazmir however seems headed for the junkyard, no one seems to be able to steer him in any meaningful direction. I am afraid he is an accident waiting to happen. Just don’t see the Padres or A’s parting with either Richards or Gonzalez. I imagine they will ride with those guys for awhile, and see how many miles they can get out of them.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        I don’t disagree. I just don’t see the Yankees giving up anything to sign any of the other 3 pitchers. If that’s the case let them keep what they have and see how Garcia does at spring training. I still think as I mentioned earlier the Yankees might be able to do something at some point with the Indians and Carmona. Just my opinion.

      • spudchukar - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:22 PM

        UFY, don’t you think the Yanks are going to have to part with one of their top 5 minor league prospects if they expect to land someone like Carmona. I say it should be Montero. Let’s face it, a 21 year old DH isn’t indispensable.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM

        I don’t think the Yankees will give up Montero for Carmona. I think they would be willing to put together a package that would include Romine and either another player or prospect but not Montero. I’m sure if Montero is in any trade package it’s going to be for someone better then Carmona.

  4. tellyspop - Feb 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    Too bad about Andy leaving, although didn’t he say at the press conference he “was in the best shape of his life?”

  5. jh0088 - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    the price tag for any pitcher the Yankees want just went through the roof. The only smart option for them is to bide their time with an excellent 1-2 punch in CC and Hughes. Burnett always starts the season off strong and I think Nova will be perfectly acceptable at number 4. They can probably work around that fifth starter for two months or so giving whomever it is (preferably Garcia comapred to the rest) a handful of starts without relying on him every single fifth day.

    By that point we’ll have made it through the end of May and players price tags will start to come down around June 1 and we’ll know exactly what we have from Nova. This team has perhaps the best lineup in all of baseball and they will be in every game they play. By June 1 they’re still going to be right in the thick of the AL East. I think the most important thing to stress about the Yankee team as a whole is excellence from their lineup (Tex is too important to slump in April and May this year), excellence from their defense (and they have a truly great outfield, and gold golves all over the infield). with Martin behind the plate teams won’t run with impunity anymore either.

    This team is truly loaded in every respect but the final two pitchers in the rotation. So, heck… it’ll make watching what happens early in the season incredibly interesting.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 2:47 PM

      I agree with you, my friend. I think fans (especially non Yankee fans) are focusing so much on the 4th and especially the 5th spot in the rotation that they are not giving enough credit to the team as a whole. The vastly improved bullpen and the offense. I also agree with you about Martin. If he’s healthy and stays healthy that will save a critical run here and there that neither Posada or Cervelli were able to stop from getting into scoring position last season.

      • spudchukar - Feb 4, 2011 at 4:32 PM

        If you think we are getting some wizard defensive backstop in Martin, you are sadly mistaken. Being a NL dude, I have watched his decline from a not so lofty perch to begin with. Offensively he is an upgrade from Cervelli, but his arm and pitch blocking capabilities are mediocre at best.
        Plus I wouldn’t be touting the left side of our defense which regardless of the ever-fluctuating UZR rating, is also mediocre. Dump Montero, and get us a decent lefty starter.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

        spudchucar – what I think/know is that he is an upgrade over both Posada and Cervelli defensively. After the 2010 season and watching Posada and Cervelli get run on I have no doubt that Martin is an upgrade. As for the left side of the Yankees. As long as ARod continues to put of the types of numbers he does offensively I’ll take his defense every day of the week. As for Jeter I’ve been as critical as any of Jeter. Having said that he still puts up offensive numbers comparable to any SS in the AL except maybe Ramirez. Like I’ve said before the 8 position players on the Yankees are NOT the concern this year just the opposite. And when the Yankees get the one pitcher they will be just fine there as well. Notice I said when not if.

      • spudchukar - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:12 PM

        Uyf, I was responding to jh’s comment, “Gold gloves all over the infield”. My only point was to question the defense on the left side, not their overall ability. I am happy with their productivity, but in the interest of fairness, it behooves no one to over value their defense. Regarding Martin, he may be an upgrade, but if Yankee fans think their catching problems are solved they are fooling themselves. When I first read he was heading to New York, I was disappointed, I’ve watched him, and he is nothing to get excited about.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        spudchukar – you would get excited if you watched Posada or Cerivelli behind the plate this past season. Besides I don’t think any Yankee fan thinks Martin is the cure all. He’s a stop gap for a year or two until either Montero can improve his defensive skills behind the plate or Sanchez is ready in a couple of years. That’s all I see Martin as.

      • uyf1950 - Feb 5, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        To spudchukar – my apologies if on occasion a response of mine tends to be a bit terse. But I should mention that every once in a while I take posters a little to personal. All to often posters not only on this site but other sites as well tend to have 2 sets of standards. One for the Yankees and one for all the other teams. You need look no further then when the Yankees sign a reclamation project to a minor league deal versus when for example the Rays or the Red Sox or any one of the other teams do exactly the same thing. So again I apologize, but it’s just the “Yankee fan” in me responding to this perceived or real double standard.

  6. Old Gator - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    I wish the Borg more luck in their cruising than I had after escaping from my ex-wife. I kept winding up on blind dates with 200-lb. friends of friends who spent the whole night bemoaning their struggles with anorexia.

  7. Jack Marshall - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:22 PM

    Wow, what whistling in the dark from the Yankee fans (including Craig)!

    The Yanks are one sprained Sabathia knee from third or fourth place. The age accumulation is due to catch up to the team eventually; they’ve been lucky in that respect for years. If ARod, Jeter or Mo pick 2011 to hit the wall, look out below. And also, “Yippee!”

    • uyf1950 - Feb 4, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      You know what they say about “if”? If the world was flat Columbus would have fallen off of it. It isn’t, he didn’t and we all know how the story ends.
      On a serious note, people have been saying exactly what you have for years if it happens I’m sure they Yankees will deal with it as will the fans. The funny thing is what you are speculating about for the Yankees has happened to much younger teams then the Yankees.

  8. billybeaneismyhero - Feb 4, 2011 at 6:07 PM

    Gio Gonzalez is easily the best of the bunch, but he reminds me a lot of Scott Kazmir. He has great stuff, but his poor control could be the death of him.

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