The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make regarding their pitching for next season. Although the Yankees won in the playoffs with a three-man rotation, they need 3 great pitchers, 2 good pitchers and 2 solid backups in Triple-A, not to mention a strong bullpen to repeat as champs in 2010. Joel Sherman and his Hardball blog has a detailed update on several of the Yankee pitchers, although he does not give any indication where he got the information from. I will report for now – I plan on waiting a couple of weeks before sharing my opinions. I need some more time to evaluate.
Sherman says the Yankees have already decided to keep Sergio Mitre, whether it is by picking up his $1.25 Million option or waiting for salary arbitration. Mitre was an on-again, off-again starting pitcher for the Yankees this past season. Despite a 3-3 record with a 6.79 ERA, the Yankees must think he will be a better pitcher next season or that he may be a decent back-up plan in case of an injury to a starting pitcher, but I doubt he has any chance to compete for a starting 5 slot.
Sherman also says the Yankees will ask Alfredo Aceves, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain to be ready to compete for the starting rotation in 2010. He also predicts that the Yankees will make an offer to Chien-Ming Wang to return next season, but it will be for much less than the $5 Million he was paid this season.
Before the season, many called that amount a steal for a pitcher like Wang, and it was considering he had won 19 games in 2006 and 2007 and was pitching extremely well in 2008 before getting injured midway through. Unless you were living under a rock this season, you know he wasn’t pitching well this season and was injured again.
As a result of that injury, Sherman predicts that Wang will not be ready to pitch until May 2010.