Monday, October 23, 2006

Knucklehead Idea

Since it's the offseason and there's not so much Yankee business to attend to, bloggers like myself often decide to engage in speculation that would otherwise seem absurd in the heat of the Spring or Summer. Today I have just such an idea I'd like to bounce around.

We need pitching. Matsuzaka is on our radar. Zito is there as well. The Yankees probably don't have many other frontline options available via free agency. I won't be caught speculating about specific trades at Canyon of Heroes, because I think the trades fans concoct are almost never realistic, or likely for that matter. I will float an idea to help our pitching staff. Here it goes.

Sign Tim Wakefield as a middle reliever-slash-5th starter.

Think about it for a second. We have Jaret Wright on the roster, as the #4 guy. Behind him was the late Cory Lidle. Before his tragic and untimely passing, Lidle was likely going to hit the free agent waters in the winter. Wright has a buyout that I'm guessing the Yanks will take advantage of shortly. That leaves us with Wang, Mussina, and Johnson. We'll likely get either Matsuzaka or Zito, and I think Cash Money will find a way to bring Moose back. That leaves an opening for a #5. I'd like to see Rasner and Karstens get a shot at the #5 spot in Spring Training. I think either one of them is good enough to be featured in that role. In fact, I'm counting on it. The thing is, I think we can throw Wakefield into the mix as well.

Mind you, this won't happen, but just for puts a dent in the Red Sox plans. They have an aging Schilling, a weak Beckett, Clement, Hansen.......the list trails off to Pawtucket. The Sox figure to be in the free agent market fighting for Matsuzaka and/or Zito. If we can keep either one of those things from happening, and take Wakefield from them, they have a lot of question marks still remaining. What does Wake do for us?

He brings a silly pitch with him. We can't hit it very well, and it always looks good sandwiched between two fastball pitchers in a series. Teams always lose their rhythm for a day or two after facing a knuckleball pitcher. He's pitched in the AL East. He'd be a #5 guy with a career 4.30 ERA, and a 108 ERA+. He's not a great pitcher, but he may come cheap, subtract from the Red Sox, and add something funky to our team. He also has experience out of the pen. As a long reliever and spot starter in 2001 he had an ERA of 3.90 and an ERA+ of 116. The following year, in the same role, saw a stellar 2.81 ERA and a whopping 157 ERA+. If you don't want to start him, throw him in middle relief and watch teams flail away.

Just an idea. Run with it.


Neil said...


I'll be very surprised if the Red Sox don't renew his option. Despite his age, Wakefield is a bargain at 4mil per season. It's a great contract for the Red Sox because every time they renew his option one more option at 4mil per is added. In other words, they can keep him at 4mil per season as long as they decide.

Mike Plugh said...


I actually read that he was a free agent somewhere, but that apparently is not true, unless the Sox decline him. They won't. You're right.

I usually consult MLBContracts Blogspot before anywhere else, and I should have this time too.

A man can dream....;)

Mr. Faded Glory said...

You seem to have completely forgotten that Carl Pavano is signed for two more years, not that I blame you.

Josh said...

Also, has Posada any experience catching the knuckleball? If not, that would be an obstacle, especially if he is intended for use out of the pen.

joejoejoe said...

Great idea Mike. But Neil nailed it, Wakefield has a perpetual team option with the Red Sox.

I wonder why there aren't more knuckleball pitchers like Wakefield in the majors? Knuckleballers seem like the ideal option for 5th starters who go to the bullpen on playoff teams.

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