Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Larger Trade?

If Randy Johnson is traded for the rumored package of Micah Owings, Luis Vizcaino, and Ross Ohlendorf, the Yankees will be in an interesting situation. The Yankees will have the following pitchers in their possession:

25 Man Roster, No Options:
Mike Mussina
Andy Pettitte
Chien-Ming Wang
Carl Pavano
Kei Igawa (I'm going to assume that he has a clause in his contract)
Mariano Rivera
Kyle Farnsworth
Brian Bruney
Mike Myers
Sean Henn
Scott Proctor
Luis Vizcaino

40 man Roster, Options:
Chris Britton
T.J. Beam
Humberto Sanchez
Jose Veras
Jeff Kennard
Jeff Karstens
Darrell Rasner (he may be out of options. I'm unclear)
Matt DeSalvo
Chase Wright

In addition to those, they will have at AAA:

Phil Hughes
Tyler Clippard
Steve White
J.B. Cox
Ross Ohlendorf
Micah Owings

That's a lot of pitching. The Yankees have 12 pitchers already stuck on the 25-man roster, and of the 9 others on the 40-man roster, at least five would be worthy of a major league job. At AAA, they have two major league ready starters in Owings and Hughes, with Clippard, White, and Ohlendorf not far off. We're stacked.

Already, speculation has begun as to what we will do with all of this pitching depth. For the next two seasons, we have five rotation spots locked up in the majors. Five spots! If we acquire the two starters from the Diamondbacks, we will have at bare minimum seven starters who are looking for rotation spots, and only five AAA spots to give them. With a loaded AA rotation of Jeff Marquez, Chase Wright, Matt DeSalvo, Jason Jones, and potentially Joba Chamberlain, we don't have a whole lot of opportunity to send these guys down (not to mention that every one of the seven have thoroughly dominated AA).

I agree with the speculation. I think that the Yankees are loading up for a trade. A big trade. I don't really think that Johan Santana is the target, because the Twins are going to contend next season. I think that the Yankees will try to keep Phil Hughes while acquiring a young ace. Jake Peavy, C.C. Sabathia, or even Chris Carpenter are names that I would look for if their respective teams fall out of contention early in the season. Aaron Harang, John Lackey, or Bartolo Colon might also come up.

Or the trade could come before spring training. I don't pretend to know what Brian Cashman is planning. But I do see a tremendous opportunity to acquire an ace. If I am Brian Cashman, I take this opportunity. I just don't touch Phil Hughes.