During the Offseason, the New York Yankees made several front office moves to strengthen the their depleted rotation, which was a major factor in their unsuccessful 2008 season. They signed the most heralded free-agent pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, to the richest contract ever for a pitcher in baseball history. If Sabathia wasn't enough, they signed the second most wanted free-agent, A.J. Burnett, to a 5 year $80 million dollar contract. Many Yankee fans have loved this spending spree, while others think it was totally unnecessary and out of control.
In the beginning of last year, Sabathia struggled as the Cleavland Indian's ace. Before he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Sabathia went 6-8, giving up 117 hits in 122 innings of work. These stats are not bad but they are not worthy of receiving the richest contract for a pitcher in history. As a Brewer in the N.L., Sabathia was untouchable going 11-2 with a 1.65 e.r.a. However, many attribute this to the N.L. being an easier league. Sabathia needs to perform like he did in Milwaukee in order to live up to expectations in New York.
A.J. Burnett has had a pretty consistent career but it has been filled with too many injuries and setbacks. If the Yankees want this new look rotation to perform well, they need to keep Burnett from getting injured.
To round out the rotation, Chien-Ming Wang, who is coming back from injury, has been the Yankees' ace for the past three years and Andy Pettite is back in pinstripes to become the fourth starter. However, it is questionable as to who will be the Yankee's fifth starter: Will it be Joba Chamberlain the young phenom or Phil Hughes who struggled for all of last season and got injured? Whoever it will be, the rotation will be carried by the two new free agents and Wang. Please feel free to comment on this post.