Cole Hamels and Matt Cain are expected to be Free Agents after the 2012 season. That is if their teams don’t give them an extension. Before the Yankees made the trade that sent Hector Noesi and Jesus Montero to Seattle for Micheal Pineda and Jose Campos, as well as the signing of Hiroki Kuroda, I really thought that the Yankees should go hard after these two, assuming they did get to Free Agency. But now, I think that the Yankees are in good shape in terms of pitching.
Now I do acknowledge the fact that it really doesn’t make sense for the Phillies and the Giants to just let these two become Free Agents. Good pitching is hard to get, especially good young pitchers. So if you’re a MLB team and you have good young pitching, you don’t let them walk away, unless of course you just can’t afford to keep them, and it happens. The Phillies are an aging team, and Hamels has proven to be a very good pitcher, and he is still young. It would be crazy for them not to lock him up. For the Giants not only do they have to worry about Cain but also Lincecum. I don’t know if the Giants can even afford to keep both of them, but I am sure they will try their hardest.
But let’s just hypothetically say that for some reason, these two became free agents. What then? If you were the Yankees would you go after them? Before these two acquisitions I would have said yes, but no I am saying no. Why?
Well for starters the Yankees recently acquired Micheal Pineda from the Mariners. This kid is only 23 years old. While he did kind of tail of in the second half of the season, it was his first year as a starter. There could be many reasons. Maybe he experienced fatigue from pitching so many innings. Either way this kid has good stuff.Now since he is only 23 he still has some developing to go through, and many people have said that he needs to develop a third pitch, specifically a change up. But we have Larry Rothschild and I am sure that once Pineda gets settled in they will work on that. But if he develops this change up, this kid could become a #1 or #2 pitcher.
The Yankees also got Jose Campos, a 19yr RH who is also said to be a very good pitcher. But the Yankees also have other young pitchers in the Minors with a lot of potential. They have the Killer B’s- Betances and Bannuelos, they have Adam Warren, David Phelps.
By adding Pineda and Kuroda, these kiddies now have more time in the minors to fully develop, especially the B’s.
Also, don’t forget the Yankees already have Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes, two young pitchers that have shown they can be really good. Phil has had some injury issues, but we are all expecting him to bounce back.
From what Cashman and the Yankees have done, I think that suddenly this rotation is going to be good not only this year, but for quite some time. Look at this way, once Freddy and Kuroda are gone, and AJ, the rotation is still going to be really good, because we have all these young pitchers.
We have CC for about 4 or 5 more years, we have Ivan Nova, now we have Pineda, we have Phil Hughes, and of course we have the Bs, Phelps and Warren when they come up. The Yankees have put themselves in a position were pretty soon they can have a really good young rotation. Plus most of these kids aren’t going to cost much for a while.
Now obviously besides CC, none of these kids are a SURE thing such as Hammels and Cain. But they are all still young and still developing and still need to prove themselves. But when you have a good young pitcher with a lot of potential, you need to take that risk, otherwise you could be giving up the next Roy Halladay, CC Sabathia, Tim Lincecum, etc. You could also be getting a not so good pitcher, but risks must be taken.
Even though Hamels and Cain probably won’t reach Free Agency, even if they did, the Yankees are in good shape.