Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just Say No To Matt Thornton

As the Hot Stove season continues to be lukewarm for the Yankees, people are starting to get a little antsy and understandably so.  There's only so long we as fans and bloggers can wait to see which free agents the Yankees sign and what killer trades Cash makes to build the team up to the 160-2 juggernaut we all wish it would be next year.  But when the talk starts turning back to mid-30s lefty specialist relievers and there is serious analysis being done on the most expensive one, that's where the line from "antsy" gets crossed and we start jumping into 'bizarro world" territory.

So to everybody out there who's reading the chatter and rumors and analysis, and either seriously considering wanting Matt Thornton in the bullpen next year or already craving him, let me say this.

Stop it.  Just stop it.  The Yankees don't need Matt Thornton in the bullpen next season anymore than they need A.J. Burnett to be a part of the bullpen next season.  Let's review the current lay of the land out there beyond right field:
  • Mariano Rivera (greatest closer of all time)
  • Dave Robertson (best setup man in baseball in 2011)
  • Rafael Soriano (former closer/setup man with shutdown stuff when healthy)
  • Boone Logan (serviceable LOOGY most of the time)
  • Cory Wade (above-average middle innings guy)
  • Joba Chamberlain (solid career reliever who should be back by late summer)
  • Hector Noesi (above-average reliever who should be a starter but could get bumped back to the long man role)
Do you see that?  That's the best bullpen in baseball right there.  And it's pretty damn full and pretty damn full of guys who are already tough on lefties.  And after the back-to-back debacle of Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano, and the long line of 30-something relievers that the Yankees have handed contracts to, why would anybody even want to go down that road AGAIN??

I get that Matt Thornton is nasty, I do.  In the right situation, it would make perfect sense to bring in a guy with a career K/9 slightly below 10 and a very low HR/9 rate who murders left-handed hitting.  But when the situation is what it currently is in the Yankee 'pen, and adding this lefty murderer is going to cost prospects as well as 2 years and $12 million, that just doesn't make sense.  It's like spending time putting expensive rims on a Maybach.  It's already a badass fucking car, it doesn't need anything else gaudy on it.  Just leave it alone and let it be badass.

In short, just say "No" to Matt Thornton.

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