Now that the playoffs are over and the
New York San Francisco Giants are World Champions, it’s time to take a hard look at the free agent market. As a Yankees fan, I think the biggest need is starting pitching: the Bombers have to keep up with the AL East arms race.
Since before the trade deadline, the Yankees front office and Yankees fans alike have wanted to bring Cliff Lee into the fold. The trade never happened, and despite a lackluster second half, Lee beat the Yankees in the ALCS.
Now that the World Series is over and Lee put up a 6.94 ERA, I was asked if I still wanted the Yankees to sign him.
Yes. A thousand times, YES!
Take a look at Lee’s 2010 Post Season Gamelogs. Game 1 of the World Series was a bad start by Lee; there’s no question about it. But he threw a great game in the deciding event; 1 bad pitch cost him a 3 run homer in the 7th inning. In his other three starts against the Rays and the Yankees, he threw 24 innings of superb ball, allowing only 2 ER. Now that’s pitching. I still think Ron Washington road Lee a bit too long, especially in game 5 of the ALDS, but given how bad the Rangers bullpen is (and it is bad; I will argue with anyone on this!), I don’t blame him.
But yes, the Yankees desperately need to sign Lee. Not only is he a great pitcher, but the Yankees need him for several reasons:
- keep up with the Rays and Red Sox (not to mention the Jay’s pitching staff)
- fill the hole vacated by Javier Vazquez
- Andy Pettitte might retire, and even if he doesn’t, he’s an older guy and is susceptible to injury
- AJ Burnett is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get
- Phil Hughes had a good 2010 campaign, but he’s still not a front of the rotation pitcher. Not yet, anyway.
The Yankees need to send a dump truck to Cliff Lee’s house and dump money all over his lawn. Hopefully, he spends the afternoon building a fort with it rather than sending it back to the Bronx.