The Yankees Chick has done quite a bit of complaing about the Yanks' pitching over the last couple years - I've disparaged the departed soul of Kevin Brown
(oh, he's not dead?) and have created some deliciously sophisticated and original nicknames for everyone from Sturtze the Hurtze
to Carl Painvano
- but in light of the recent choices the Yanks have made this winter I am feeling decidedly more optimistic
about the state of the pitching affairs in the Bronx.Andy Pettitte
's decision to reunite with the Yankees certainly brought a smile to my face, and the accompanying speculation that his move could motivate the Rocket to follow suit
are most intruiging. By most accounts, he will
pitch in 2007, but he may wait until June or July to make his decision again - a decision which will no doubt be based on which of his chosen teams
(the Astros, Bosox and Yanks) is doing the best at that point in the season. That brazen cockiness
and mercenary attitude actually sickens me in theory, but if he decides to join the Yankees I will not complain.L
ast week's signing of 27-year-old Kei Igawa
(which is nearly official, save for the mandatory physical that for some reason seems to foil not steroid users but overpaid outfielder
s) dropped the average age of the pitching staff down to about 40, which is a move in the right direction. Igawa is no Matsuzaka, but I sincerely appreciate the fact that the Yankees will be paying a total of $46 million for 5 years of his service
, and that includes the $26 million Big Stein had to pony up just for the chatting rights.
Interestingly enough, even the Pavano situation is looking up
. Take a moment to re-read that sentance, I can wait. Back? Ok. Sir Carl of Injuredville
has reportedly been doing some hardcore training in Arizona all winter in an effort to show the Yanks that he is serious about getting healthy and ready for some hot pitching mound action
come April. To be honest, it is pretty pathetic that training is out of the norm for Pav, but if he does
stay healthyish it will obviously be great for the Yankees. His health-kick also makes him more attractive as trade bait - - the Cardinals have already expressed an interest
, albeit slight, and have requested his 309834289032490 page medical file to review.
In reliever news, the Pirates are looking to trade lefty reliever Mike Gonzalez (see top photo)
for a lefty power hitter, and the Yankees are allegedly willing to give up Melky
in exchange for the bullpen help. Gonzalez, who is a nice spry 28-years-old, has had an impressive major league career thus far
, saving 24 games in 54.0 innings last season. There were rumors last week indicating that the Pirates, Yankees, Braves were working on a 3-team trade
that would send Gonzalez to New York, Adam LaRoche to Pittsburgh and Melky to Atlanta, but those plans have either stalled or were never true in the first place. Much as I love Melky, bringing Gonzalez to New York would offer some much needed support to the bullpen - - and the move would open the 4th outfielder spot up for a certain beloved guitar playing switch-hitting 38-year-old
Finally, the Yanks are in possession of some great kids
that could make quite a splash in '07. There's Humberto Sanchez (left)
, who came over from the Tigers in the Sheffield deal, and of course the much-anticipated Phillip Hughes, who may be called up in April. Jeff Karstens
and Brian Bruney
, who both pitched towards the end of last season, will also be waiting in the wings for a chance to back up the offense.
I am, of course, still concerned about The Unit, and I'm not convinced that Pavano will even be walking in April, much less pitching. But right now, I'm feeling optimistic.
Now let's just hope this feeling can last through next October.