My answer could quite possibly shock you.
But I don’t care.
The New York Yankees, last year, won their 27th World Series, adding on to their professional sports leading total of national championships. But as always, this could never quench the thirst of the Steinbrenner ownership dynasty, nor general manager Brian Cashman, nor manager Joe Girardi, any of his other coaches as well as every one of the players for the Bombers. This team wants more than to win; they want to be incomprehensibly good. They want to reach new heights and shatter every standard held to a Major League Baseball team. They want history.
And I must say, so do I.
Of course, the Yankees are going to attempt to make as many improvements as they can this 09-10 offseason. They’ve already acquired multi-talented center fielder Curtis Granderson from the Tigers in a three-way trade that also happened to include the Diamondbacks. You think that’s it?
That’s not it.
So, as you view this, you probably have at least a slight amount of curiousity in your mind. Who will be next?
Well, here’s who I think the Yankees should sign.
You probably know who he is. 6’2″ left-handed reliever with tremendous stuff, time missed due to injury and a tendency to be wild on certain occasions. I know we’d have to pay a bunch of money. I know he’s probably going to get a bunch of criticism by having some messy outings in New York. I know there’s a chance he could be an injury bust.
But it makes sense.
With Phil Coke now a member of the Detroit Tigers after the Granderson deal, the Yankees only have one southpaw– Damaso Marte, who was great in the playoffs but has struggled otherwise– in their bullpen. The second best left-handed relief pitcher available is the 19343 year old Darren Oliver. He’s an old finesse pitcher. The punter of relief pitching. Who wants that? Wouldn’t you rather have an exciting, younger pitcher? Wouldn’t you rather have 96 mph than 86?
And before you make the “Well control pitchers pitch better because they are disciplined and have command and blah blah blah” argument, let’s take a look at the numbers.
Mike Gonzalez: 2.42 ERA
Darren Oliver: 2.71 ERA
Gonzalez is a guy who can take the loss of Phil Hughes to the rotation, the lack of Phil Coke, and say “Let’s go guys, I’ll set it up for Mariano”. Here’s a guy who can shut down batters on any given night. Here’s a guy who was a good closer and a better set up man. Is he the best reliever ever? No. But he’s a tremendous relief pitcher and his addition would allow you to say “Gonzalez in the 8th, Rivera in the 9th”.
And all I need to do is remind you of the names Kyle Farnsworth or Scott Proctor to show you how valuable that is.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York