Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Off the Cliff

So while everybody was watching the Yankees and Rangers duke it out over Cliff Lee, the  lefty decided he didn't want to get hitched to either. He and the Phillies have reportedly agreed on a five year deal.

Cliff Lee: 102-61, 3.85
for his career.
Certainly the Yankees aren't happy; they based their plans on the notion that they would land Lee because It's All About the Money. (The Rangers, whether they are or not, should be pleased that they didn't land Lee. A six-year big-money contract for a pitcher is risky business. Texas would be better off making Neftali Feliz a starter again.)

For that matter, this deal isn't done yet, and perhaps won't be until the Phillies clear some payroll. They are said to be shopping starters Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick — Blanton makes a lot of money for a fifth starter — and outfielder Raul Ibanez. 

None of those three hold much appeal to the Twins, who have plenty of pitch-to-contact starters and corner outfielders. Minny would be in the market for relief help.

But the Lee fallout might reach the Twins in a couple of ways. First, Carl Pavano. He is the best remaining free agent starter on the market, and there's no way the Yankees view him as a fallback position from Lee. If the Twins do re-sign him (and I hope they don't), they'll have six starters in the fold.

The Yankees are short of starters. They have CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes. They're stuck with A.J. Burnett; Job One for the new pitching coach is fixing him. Andy Pettitte is doing his annual Favrian retirement sulk in Texas; I rather expect the Yankees to pony up more than they planned to get him back. And that's four -- counting Burnett.

I wonder if the Yankees would consider trading Joba Chamberlain  for Nick Blackburn.


  1. Ed, where's your Christmas spirit? Why don't you toss in Punto as a backup for Grandpas Jeter and Rodriguez? 'Tis the season. . .

  2. Recognizing that you're joking, a serious answer: Punto's a free agent. Can't trade players you don't have. (And my Christmas spirit is buried under about a foot-and-a-half of snow with more coming today.)