UPDATED: GARCIA HAS WON THE FIFTH SPOT IN THE YANKEES ROTATION AND COLON WILL GO TO THE BULLPEN.
With Spring Training winding down, the Yankees tweaks to their roster and starting rotation are nearly complete.
After about a zillion weeks of negotiation, the Yankees have finally landed Kevin Millwood to the minor league deal they’ve been dangling since the beginning of time. Millwood was holding out for a guaranteed major league deal; I think he must have forgotten he finished the year with an ERA over 5 last season, but whatever. Now that the music is about to stop and Millwood suddenly took his eyes off the floor and noticed there weren’t any chairs, he’s accepted a stool from the Yankees – not that he has any choice in the matter; given that he hasn’t thrown a pitch in a game yet this spring, he’ll have to go down the minors or extended spring training to get ready, so don’t expect him to be available until nearly May, if not later – and if everyone is pitching well, he could be in Scranton for a while. (I presume he’s the team’s 7th starter, after whoever is the Yankees MLB long man.)
Sergio Mitre, who I have an irrational soft spot for, has been traded to the Brewers for Chris Dickerson, and outfielder who can play multiple positions and I assume is an insurance policy in case the oblique injury to Curtis Granderson causes him to start the season the DL. If that is the case, I would expect Andruw Jones to start in left field, Nick Swisher in right and Brett Gardner in center, with Dickerson as the fourth outfielder. (I hope Dickerson gets some playing time as I have a ton of Dickerson jokes waiting in the wings!) Given that Brewers hurler Zack Grienke is currently injured, it looks like Mitre is going to get a chance to start there – so good luck to him! Pitching in the inferior league’s weakest division could have an Ian Kennedy effect on Mitre. Anyway, rumor has it that Mitre was going to be released at the end of spring training, so this was a good move by Brian Cashman.
It looks like Ivan Nova‘s solid spring has earned him a spot in the rotation, so the Yankees just have to decide if they’re going to start Bartolo Colon or Freddy Garcia. It’s a tough decision; Colon has had the better spring, but he’s an older guy with a history of injury and didn’t pitch at all last year while Garcia pitched over 150 innings in 2010. I’d guess the Yankees are going to start the year with Garcia as there fifth starter, but we’ll find out for sure early next week.