A while back, I looked at Zack Greinke as a possibility for a trade, especially if the Yanks wanted a young pitcher with potential, experience and promise and were foiled in bids for CC, AJ, Lowe, etc. Greinke would be cheap as far as salary, but would cost players in a trade.
The blog nomaas.org throws out the name of Matt Cain of the Giants. The author of the piece suggests Cano for Cain, with the Yanks going after Orlando Hudson (just 30) as the replacement for Cano. I’ve also written about maybe getting Hudson and dealing Cano to shore up other needs. Let’s look at Cain.
Cain has been hurt by pitching for a bad team. He has been hurt by this even worse than Greinke has. Just 24, Cain is 30-43 in his career, but he has an excellent 118 ERA+. His ERA is 3.74 for his career. In 2007, he was 7-16 despite a nice 3.65 ERA (122 ERA+). This year he was 8-14, 3.76. (ERA+ 114). Since becoming a full-time starter and a full-time member of the Giants rotation in 2005, he hasn’t missed a start. He has gone 190, 200 and 217 IP (disregarding the fractions). 179, 163 and 186 K.
Greinke is 34-45, 4.28 for his career. Cain doesn’t have the DH (except for interleague) that Greinke has to face, and you do worry about the NL to AL transition. Still, he has been healthy, knock on wood. Greinke’s ERA+ is 107. Greinke, like Cain, is 24—albeit a few months older.
The idea, however, is the same. NoMaas with Cain, like I did with Greinke, was and is looking for and at pitchers who have experience and seem ready to blossom soon. Pitchers under 25, cheap, talented, and whom, once you look past the W-L record, have ERAs that show that they could win—and win big—if you put them on a good team. Pitchers who you hope have 10 years of great pitching ahead of them. Hopefully Joba and Hughes (and others) have that. Trying to identify others who may be available via trade is something the Yanks also need to look at (and most likely are). Especially if the high-rollers (CC, AJ, Lowe, Sheets) decide not to come to the Bronx.
Interesting article by NoMaas, and I commend them for it.