I have a few flaws as pending GM of the New York Yankees. First, I am totally enamored with 'stuff.' A pitcher with a 95+ heater and a nasty secondary pitch will always look like the second coming to me. I tend to overrate stuff some of the time.
This has lead me to love the likes of Kyle Lohse and Jeff Weaver, but it has also lead me to draft a young reliever named Johan in my FLB league in 2003 and to be screaming for the Yanks to make a deal with Pittsburgh for a young Jason Schmidt.
A second flaw is my refusal to accept the premise of the 'injury-prone' player. For the most part, unless a player is in poor condition or is Carl Pavano, I typically see injuries as arbitrary occurances that typically are unlikely to recur.
The combination of these 2 flaws results in my constant yearning for the likes of Mark Prior, or in this case, Rich Harden.
Unbelievable stuff, a potential Ace, but hasn't made 30 starts in any of the last 3 years due to the injury bug and has only done so once in his career.
Harden was clocked at 98 in his last spring start and was dominant in his season opener vs the Sox - 6IP, 3H 1ER, 9Ks. The offseason surgery to clean out his shoulder has been termed successful and at that level of velocity and performance it seems he is fully recovered.
Harden won't be 27 until late in the '08 season, and is therefore only 3 1/2 years older than Ikky. Additionally, Harden cannot be a free agent until after the 2010 season. Kennedy is very much a Billy Beane type of pitcher - look at their previous 'Big 3', Hudson, Mulder and Zito. All 3 were excellent pitchers who lacked dominant stuff but pitched at a very high level (for the A's, anyway). I believe Kennedy will be this type of pitcher. I don't believe he will be an Ace, however. If he can stay healthy (and I realize it's a big IF), Harden has the ability to be the best pitcher in baseball - even including the newcomer in Queens.
A trade with the A's has been rumored to start with Ian Kennedy plus maybe 1 or 2 other prospects. If we can get Harden and give up Ikky and any 2 non Ajax/Tabata/Montero prospects, I say we should do it, flaws be damned!