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AJ Hits the Jackpot!
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
As I assured you on Sunday, despite my excessive reprieve from blogging over the past few months I most certainly was not asleep on the job - nay, I've been silently obsessing over all the haps in the baseball world all along. Now I simply must catch up.

Obviously the biggest maneuver the Yanks pulled off whilst I was AWOL was the signing of CC "Pinstripes are Slimming" Sabathia, a move that singularly improved the 2009 rotation from "seriously, this is the best you could do?" to "oh yeah, you guys are the Yankees!". At a bare minimum Double C should provide the team with more innings than Pavano managed to scrape himself together for in 4 seasons combined (145.6, or approximately 5 innings per injury sustained, or 145.6 innings per teammate that liked him*) and will likely do much better than that. He hasn't had an ERA over 3.22 since 2005 or a WHIP over 1.3 since 2004, and he hasn't been slacking off: he pitched over 240 innings in each of the last two years and has never appeared in fewer than 28 games in a season (his 8-season average is 34 games per season). Better yet, he's still a relative youngster at 28. Eight years of primarily healthy, 3.66 ERA pitching and you're not even 30? Here you go sir, this is a bag full of money, please come wear our jersey and stand on our mound.

Minutes after receiving sack of money: king of the world

Of course, with that sack o' millions comes another sack full of expectations and pressure (now available in sack form!). Baseball fans do not forget about those dollar signs, and while not as bad as those fools in Beantown (Nancy Drew? Seriously?), Yanks fans are not the most patient folk. Just ask Pavano.** Double C is going to be expected to do as well as - if not better than, thanks to the sheer size of the contract - he performed over the past few years, and there isn't going to be much room for adjustment. He's been known to start a little slow in April, and the fans have been known to have a little trouble being patient with slow starts. Add to that the fact that Slim pitched nearly as many innings in the second half of last year (130+) than C-Pav did in four motherfreakin years and we're looking at a pleasantly plump*** man whose stamina has been taxed beyond precedent with millions of fans just waiting to proclaim his contract a waste of money.

3 seconds after someone boos him for giving up two hits in a game

Have fun with that, Slim!

Then we have AJ Burnett. By lucking into getting signed at the same time as Sabathia, this fellow has essentially locked in a 58% discount on pressure. In normal people world, his 5-year $82+ million deal with the Yanks would be looked upon as a monumental investment (and potential risk) and henceforth subject him to perhaps more than his fair share of scrutiny. In the world of the 2009 New York Yankees, the deal is just a little insurance. His contract isn't even close to being the biggest on the team (A-Rod, Sabathia, Jeter and Teixeira will all be making more than him in 2009). Money aside, with Sabathia on the roster, AJ is certainly not the best starter on the team and will not be expected to be the anchor of the pitching staff. Unless he performs significantly worse than about a 4.00 ERA, fans will likely focus whatever frustration they have on the people they feel aren't doing "enough" - and money factors in hugely when calculating whether a player is doing "enough" (just ask A-Rod)****.

He knows exactly what he's getting away with

AJ is doubly fortunate in that he managed to score that contract in a year when very few players are getting 5-year deals OR $16 million/year, much less BOTH. There better be a bouqet of flowers (or tacos) in front of CC's locker signed "love, AJ" on opening day.


*Carl counts himself as a "teammate"

** I do not recommend this or any activity that places you in close proximity to this injury machine - you may be hit after he trips over a cookie crumb and smashes through a plate glass window.
***He's a fat man.
****Don't torture him.

Labels: , ,

posted by Yankees Chick @ Tuesday, February 03, 2009  
4 Comments:
  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    Actually AJ will make 16.5 mil to C.C.'s 14 in 2009. That's more than Mo.

    He got extremely lucky with the market being the way it is and, as usual, the price on pitching sets the bar.

    I would really like to see all the sports writers put Wang in the #2 spot when listing the rotation. Wang has proven himself in New York already. Not to mention back to back 19 win seasons.

     
  • At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    If everyone can just stay healthy, the rotation is looking better than it's looked in years!

     
  • At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Mets Guy said…

    This is eerily reminiscent of the year you guys signed Johnson, Pavano and Wright, but I think it'll turn out better this time :)

     
  • At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now we know that it was the slimming effect that kept CC under 200 mil.
    THANK YOU, YANKEES CHICK!
    Damn it's good to see you back!
    You AND MLBTV---
    Let's play 2!

    Joe

     
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