Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yanks add Mitre via "Lieber" deal

Here's my set-up on this story:

Yesterday, I was bonkers busy at work. I managed to get a few posts up early but my afternoon was an absolute train wreck. Stress, pressure, late night. Close to 5pm, I get an email from old buddy Matt Sosnick, agent extraordinaire. He asked me if I was free to chat. Under almost any other circumstances, I would have dropped everything to take his call but yesterday was different and I let him know. So he asks me if I saw the "Mitre news", which I clearly hadn't. He then sent me the link alerting me to the fact that Mitre signed with the Yanks.

I will try to catch up with him today to see if I can dig a bit deeper on this.

As far as the signing itself, I think this is an solid acquisition. It's precisely what I'd call the "Jon Lieber" deal, the low base for the recovery year with a team option for the following year. [I thought the Yanks should have done this with Dotel, but there was no team option, which was a mistake.] Mitre has shown flashes of greatness goodness followed by periods of mediocraty. However, his injury might have been a contributing factor.

A sinkerballer, Mitre was especially effective early in 2007. In May of that year, he was 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. As the season progressed, however, he dealt with fatigue, and his second-half statistics suffered. In 12 starts after the All-Star break, he was 2-4 with a 7.27 ERA.
Mitre's 28, prime pitching age. With solid training, conditioning and the latest recuperative methods, we'll probably see him return to the 'pen in 2009, with a chance as a starter in 2010. At the very least, he's a big guy (6'4", 210 lbs) who could become a useful part of the rotation (or bullpen) in 2010.

I like this deal.

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