Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mark Buehrle Is Blowing Up The Rumor Mill

And I really don't understand why.  Joel Sherman says this:

"These Yankees are more self-confident in their overall team and farm system and, therefore, not as overzealous in its pursuit of pitching.

That is why the Yankees probably will not end up with C.J. Wilson or Yu Darvish, though they left those October scouting meetings with that duo atop their free-agent board (non-CC division). Both are, for example, listed above Mark Buehrle; yet Buehrle stands a better chance of becoming a Yankee because he fits certain criteria, including less financial risk than Wilson or Darvish."

And Buster Olney says this:

"Yankees did due diligence today and talked to Mark Buehrle's agent, but it's still highly unlikely they take a serious run at him."

Boys, boys, boys.  Can you pump the brakes for a second?  Did you not listen to Cash last week?  It's a slow process.  He's still in the infant stages of said process, reaching out to everybody.  It's still WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY to early to try to predict who the Yankees will and won't target.  And honestly, they're going to target everybody, or at least make it seem like they're targeting everybody.  It's what Cash does.  Just let him do his thing.  And certainly don't waste valuable Twitter space talking about Mark Buehrle.  He's like the rice pudding of the FA pitcher buffet.  Sure, you wouldn't mind having some and you'll probably enjoy it if it's on your plate, but you aren't making a beeline to it at Ponderosa.

P.S.- I don't know where I stand on Buehrle.  I feel like he should be ranked right above Freddy as a last resort.

Freddy The Forgotten

As Cash makes his rounds on the preliminary phone call circuit to the cream of this year's FA pitching crop (Wilson, Edwin Jackson, Buehrle, Oswalt, etc.), one guy who hasn't received a lot of "real" talk is Freddy Garcia.  There has been mention of both sides sharing a mutual interest in bringing Freddy back for 2012, but right now that option is probably more of a last resort for the Yankees much like it was last offseason.  So what should the Yankees' approach be with Freddy?

Garcia greatly outperformed any and all expectations this past season any way you cut it.  He was, at times, the Yankees' 2nd best starter, and over the course of the entire season you could make the argument that he WAS their 2nd best starter, 3rd at worst.  His 3.62/4.12/4.36 line over 146.2 IP was a blessing in disguise for a rotation that could have been crippled by Phil Hughes' problems and A.J.'s all around sucktitude, and it earned him a Type-B free agent status this offseason.

This  is where things get interesting with Garcia.  The Yankees could offer him arbitration, which would lead to a higher dollar amount than what they paid him last year, and if Garcia turns it down they get a draft pick.  And given the year he had last year, Garcia very likely could get more money than what the arbitration number would come out to in the open market.  But if Garcia did decide to accept the arbitration deal, the Yankees suddenly have 5 starting pitchers again and somebody would have to get the boot to the bullpen if they're serious about pursuing any of the crop of previously-mentioned pitchers or Yu Darvish.

So what to do?  If it were me, I would offer Garcia arbitration as I think there are teams out there who would pay Freddy more for a year of his services and he would be wise to pursue those opportunities.  Also, the Yankees could try to swing a gentleman's agreement like they had with Javy Vazquez to not accept the arbitration offer, leaving them free to pursue their other targets and gain a pick and leaving Freddy free to sign on with another team who wants him.  In any case, Freddy is a good insurance policy for the Yanks to have in their back pocket.  He just might not be there for the taking as long as he was last year.