I know CC Sabathia is the logical choice if the Yanks are going to dip into their deep farm system and trade for a starter. I have a couple of issues with that, however.
First, Mark Shapiro is gonna want a king's ransom in return. If the Yanks weren't going to open the vault for the undisputed best pitcher in baseball (Johan), then doing so for CC makes no sense.
Second, I am extremely leery of trading a lot of talent for CC and then signing him long term. There is nothing concrete to back up my fears, but the 1500+ career innings, jump from 180 to 256 innings pitched (including playoffs) between '06 and '07, and his remarkably large body all combine to make me very concerned about him breaking down.
Considering my fear of break-down for a career workhorse who averages 218 ip a year, the guy I want instead makes zero sense...that being said, I want the Yanks to go get Rich Harden.
A year younger than CC, Harden has only thrown 518 innings in his career. His career numbers translate into 'staff-ace' designation - 518ip, 425 h, 498k, 224 walks, 3.49 era. The obvious problem is that he has been limited to 518 innings over 5 full seasons due to injury.
Harden is under control through the 2009 season thanks to a $7mm team option after this season. While the cost in terms of prospects will be high, we won't be forced to sign Harden to a $17-$20mm per year contract for 5-7 years immediately. Should he perform and stay healthy through 2009 the Yanks can then sign him; if he turns out to be Carl Pavano redux we are only on the hook for 1 1/2 years.
If we are going to send some of our minor league talent packing, I firmly believe Phil Phranchise, A-Jax, Jesus and Melancon need to be untouchable. Hopefully a package of Horne, Tabata, Cervelli and Betances gets it done.
Horne should be major league ready for the '09 season, Tabata is having some issues, but is still only 19, Cervelli is a still-developing good young catcher, and Betances has top of the rotation potential. I think that would wet Beane's whistle sufficiently.