The well-tenured NY Times writer Murray Chass furthered a thought that I discussed last week, wondering if the pendulum had swung too far. Chass mentions that there were two major decisions made by the Yanks this season but only one of which could come back to haunt them: Letting Torre go and not trading for Johan Santana. (I think signing ARod is the 3rd major decision, but I'll let it go)
Chass, to his credit, doesn't get overly dramatic, but merely states what might happen, or what should have happened:
Maybe Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain will become the reincarnation of Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat. But maybe they will be more reminiscent of Andy Hawkins, Dave LaPoint and Tim Leary, vintage 1990.
Maybe they will be everything the Yankees expect them to be. Maybe they will all succeed from the start. But maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll stumble and sputter and need time to develop into consistent winners.
Had the Yankees sent Hughes to the Twins for Santana, it would not have been Scott Kazmir for Víctor Zambrano. Had the Yankees traded Hughes, they would still have had Kennedy and Chamberlain.
If the Yankees are certain that Hughes, Kennedy and Chamberlain will be the core of their starting rotation for the next 10 years, the decision was a good one. But that lack of a guarantee could prove to be troublesome.
All the above is certainly true and I mentioned it last Thursday. I wonder, now, after the lustre has worn off a bit, if the Yanks were being overly protective of these kids. Should the Yanks have taken the leap? Yes, Hal Steinbrenner was against the dollars being spent and Cashman was against the youth leaving. But, to get a 29 year old Santana.... maybe it would have been worth the risk. I pledge not to second-guess this to death once the season starts and I can only hope that Joba, Hughes and IPK live up to the impossibly high expectations, making it a moot point.
Lastly, my favorite comment from Chass' article tallies up the expiring contracts for the 2008 Yanks as they look ahead to 2009:
Coming off the payroll after this year should be Pettitte, Mussina, Carl Pavano and Kyle Farnsworth, a total of $44 million in pitchers alone, in addition to Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu for a team total of $81 million.
$81MM!!!! I hope Sabathia and Mark Teixeira hear that. KRod, too! (Here is a list of the 2009 Free Agent class)