Andy Pettitte partially retires

Which opens the door to Andy announcing his comeback sometime in May from the Yankees front office brass suite, causing Suzyn Waldman to blow her load live on-air.

I will wait to talk about Andy’s career until he officially retires. But I will talk about the Yankees current rotation.

So far the definites are CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Phil Hughes. Obviously I would love to see Joba Chamberlain return to the rotation, but I doubt that happens this season so I will assume that is not a possibility.

So the Yankees have two spots to fill. On Opening Day, possible in-house options are Sergio Mitre, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi, and David Phelps. Come opening day, we will not see Andrew Brackman or Dellin Betances in the rotation short-running. I do not think Phelps is ready and the same goes for Hector (although I love Hector). Mitre is trash as a starter, which leaves Ivan Nova. I am willing to give Nova a shot and come May if he sucks, try out Phelps or Noesi. Nova could be a pretty good reliever, but if he can pitch similarly to his end of season stint from 2010, then I think he will be a capable 5th starter.

Now, onto the FA market. Players that interest me are Jeff Francis, Justin Duchscherer, and Kevin Milwood. Honestly, I would sign all three. Depth is going to be HUGE for the Yankees. In a typical season, the Yankees will use an about eleven different starting pitchers. Even with our minor league depth, we could use those three FA pitchers. Neither of them are great, but at a cheap price they have the potential to be some of the better 4 or 5 pitchers around.

Jeff Francis would be #1 on my list. He is a lefty, which is useful for Yankee Stadium and useful since they will be competing with lefty heavy lineups in Boston, Texas, and Minnesota (especially if Jim Thome re-signs there). Francis isn’t great, but he should be good for about a 4-ish FIP. He doesn’t walk many batters, which is good since he is a hittable pitcher.Francis is also 29 and could parlay a nice season into a draft pick or a worthy extension.

Next, I would go after Milwood. I know he made $10mil plus on his last contract, but there is no way he sniffs that. Considering his type B status, I can’t imagine him signing for more than $5mil. Milwood is not the pitcher he once was. But he eats innings. That is going to be vital for the rotation. Outside CC, there is no reliable pitcher in the rotation. Milwood is good for 30+ start. He was hit hard last season and gives up his share of walks, but like Francis, he is a 4-4.5 FIP pitcher. As the last guy in the rotation, that’s not bad if he can throw 180+ innings. A team like the Yankees would prefer more production, but given their options Milwood is one of the best options still available.

As for Justin Duchscherer, I like him. I think he can be a good starter. But I don’t trust him. He is always hurt. We will sign him and he will get hurt and we’re back to square one. I think signing him to relieve will help and reduce his injury potential. For a low, $1mil or $2mil deal I would sign him. For depth and to see what he could possibly do in the pen.

Pettitte walking away- for now- hurts. The Yankees can manage if they follow any of the aforementioned strategies. It’s not ideal, but it’s making the best of a bad situation.

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