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January 05, 2007

Plan B After Rocket?

Let us assume that the Randy Johnson trade is completed. Then, suppose that Roger Clemens does not join the Yankees for 2007. If you're Brian Cashman, do you then go with Carl Pavano for your 5th starter this season? Say that you don't want to rely on Pavano - which makes sense - do you go into the season with Darrell Rasner or Jeff Karstens as the last man in your rotation? Or, do you commit the folly of trying to convert Scott Proctor to the rotation?

Whether it's Pavano, the kids, or a converted Proctor, there's some risk in any choice here (assuming that Clemens signs with Houston or Boston). However, there is another avenue out there that has some merit.

The Phillies have Freddy Garica, Brett Myers, Jon Lieber, Adam Eaton, Jamie Moyer and Cole Hamels on their roster now. That's one starter too many. It's been reported that they want to trade Lieber from this group. Phillies assistant general manager Mike Arbuckle has been quoted in the media as saying that his team needs to acquire help for their bullpen.

Doesn't this sound like a love connection for the Yankees and Phils?

Given Lieber's age and contract status, an offer of Luis Vizcaino and T.J. Beam should be enough to make them consider dealing Lieber to New York.

Jon Lieber has been a capable starter in his last five seasons and someone who will not fold under pressure. That sounds like the perfect fit for the last spot in the Yankees rotation this season. And, when he leaves as a Free Agent after the season, that Hughes kid can step into his spot in 2008 (assuming he is ready).

If Clemens does not join the Yankees, Lieber should be their number one target after Rocket.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at January 5, 2007 04:06 PM


Dude, you're not advocating bringing back Lieber AGAIN, are you?

What's the point of bringing Lieber back? He's not that good -- he throws strikes, and he tosses innings, but he often gets pounded. He's a testament that if you have mediocre stuff but throw strikes, you can have moderate success.

But half a season of Rasner/Karstens or whoever and then an eventual fill-in by Hughes makes much more sense.

I'd rather one of prospects -- Hughes, Clippard, whoever -- get a chance than watch Lieber give up 250 hits in '07.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 05:10 PM

Yeah, I'd rather one of the kids get a shot than Lieber. But the Yanks do have an excess of bullpen arms and seem to be a good match with the Phils. What do they have to offer in terms of a backup catcher?

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 05:46 PM

Thumbs down on Lieber. Sure, he's a known commodity; but I'd be willing to bet that a full year of Rasner and/or Karstens will produce similar results at a fraction of the cost.

Also, a successful Rasner/Karstens gives Cash yet more trading chips come July.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 08:24 PM

If we are looking for a mediocre sinkerballer in his mid 30s why not go for John Thomson? He will be cheaper in terms of both talent and salary.

Posted by: Mark19 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 08:30 PM

I'm ok with Rasner/Karstens as the #5 (if Pavano is out). if they dont work out, why not bring up the 'ML ready' Sanchez? or T-Clip, who i believe is slightly more ML ready than Hughes. If they dont work out by mid-season, Phil should be ready to take over by then. of course, with injuries (Pettite, Moose, Wang), we could see these guys much earlier. but the Yanks probably have the best AAA rotation in all baeball. dont fret too much.

Posted by: Travis G. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 08:41 PM

Saying that Kartner is going to be as efective as Lieber is giving those two C+ prospects a lot of too much credit in my opinion.

Posted by: SteveB [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 5, 2007 08:42 PM

I guess I might be alone here but I am all for Lieber. I thought it was a dumb idea to let him go in the first place. He would be a good insurance policy and at 1 year the risks are minimal.

Posted by: rmd0311 [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2007 11:46 AM

Giving up two quality arms for a middle of the road hittable pitcher?


Posted by: Josh [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 8, 2007 11:19 AM