I’ve heard some names attached to the Yanks as far as getting a pitcher goes. CC should be back in August, maybe Pineda too. I place more credence in CC coming back than Pineda. Even when (and if) they do come back, how good will they be? Will CC be the pre-2013 CC (very good) or the CC we’ve seen since 2013 (struggling)?
One thing is for sure. They’ll need another starter. Nuno is not long for the rotation, and you wonder how long Whitley and Phelps will hold up.
It’d be nice to get a Samardzija, but you wonder if the Yanks have the goods to get him. Word is (and Joel Sherman has written) that the Cubs would want a high-end, just about ready for the majors starter in return, which the Yanks don’t have unless they make a three-way deal. Jason Hammel may be a nice fit. Some people are talking about David Price but there is no way I can see the Rays trading Price within the division.
Other names include (from MLB Trade Rumors): John Danks, Ian Kennedy (a former Yankee) and Cliff Lee. Personally, I don’t think Lee would approve a trade to the Yanks.
Let’s explore these pitchers and I’ll bring up another name which hasn’t been mentioned much but one that I think may be a good fit.
I am going to skip over Samardzija, Price and Lee. I don’t think the Yanks get any of these three. If they do, great, but I’m going to be a bit more realistic here.
Danks: 29 and a lefty. 6-6, 4.34 this year. ERA+ 94. 4-14, 4.75 last year. Average season 12-14, 4.21, ERA+ 105. Went 13-11 in 2009 and 15-11 in 2010 but is 21-36, 4.62 since. Hmmm. Not sold on him.
Hammel: Will be 32 and is a righty. Has AL East experience from his time with the O’s and Rays. Having a good year, 6-5, 2.99 with the Cubs. Average season 9-11, 4.64 ERA+ 95. Not bad, but I’m not too sold on him.
Kennedy 29 and righty: The Yanks had some problems with him when he first came up (maturity). 29 and a righty. Had a great 2011 (21-4, 2.88, 4th in CYA and 14th in MVP). Decent 2012, 15-12, 4.02. 12-18, 4.56 since 2012. Currently 5-8, 3.90, ERA+ 88 pitching in a pitcher’s park in SD. For his career, is 58-48, 3.99, ERA+ 99. Average. But take away that one great season, and he is 37-44. Averages 12-10, 3.99, but was that one great season a flash in the pan?
Now for someone whose name hasn’t been mentioned but who I think may be a good fit:
MLB Trade Rumors states
•Though Joel Sherman of the New York Post said not long ago that the Mets should act boldly as buyers, the team’s recent woes have him convinced that the opposite may now be true. After a 4-11 skid, he writes that the Mets should deal two of Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee this summer and also make Daniel Murphy available in trades.
Ok. There you have it. Sherman thinks that the Mets should trade two of Niese, Colon (who, to me, is too old for the Yanks to pursue) and Gee. Why not make a deal with the Mets, especially when it makes sense?
I think Niese may be a good fit. The Mets have some good young pitching coming up. Matt Harvey will be coming back from Tommy John surgery sometime next year, Zach Wheeler is young, and they have just brought up Jake deGromm and Rafael Montero. Noah Syndergaard is on the way. The Mets need hitting, and the Yanks may have some hitting prospects to trade to the Mets for someone like Niese.
Jon Niese is 27 and a lefty. He is 4-4, 2.78 for the Mets right now. ERA+ 126. For his career, 47-44, 3.84, ERA+ 97. But he has been improving each of the last three years. Since 2011, he is just 25-21 (his team doesn’t hit) but with a 3.37 ERA. ERA+ 109. Granted that Citi Field is a pitchers’ park, but…
Compared to the others listed above (Danks, Kennedy and Hammel), Niese’s numbers are very comparable. Yes, Samardzija, Price and Lee (who is 35) may be nice, but for reality sake, why not consider Niese (who has NY experience already)?