Photo: Flickr/Keith Allison
The Yankees’ lack of fourth and fifth starters will be one of the biggest stories of Spring Training, and could prove to be one of the most important subplots of the 2011 season.New York’s failure to sign Cliff Lee this winter will be the non-move that gets the most attention, but even that was never necessary.
That’s because the worst part of this is that the Yankees were poised to land Roy Halladay last winter, but refused to include Joba Chamberlain OR Phil Hughes in a trade.
Rewind a year, and it became clear that Toronto was set to deal its ace. New York’s interest was obvious, and the Yankees were willing to deal prized catching prospect Jesus Montero and Austin Jackson, but were unwilling to part with Chamberlain or Hughes. Eventually, Toronto swung a three-team deal with Seattle and Philadelphia, and the Phillies assembled one of the best rotations in baseball history this offseason.
Hughes has emerged as a solid starter, but Chamberlain isn’t even a lock to make the Yankees’ major league roster.
Now, the Yankees have CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and AJ Burnett at the top of their rotation, and will fill the fourth and fifth slots with some combination of Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre, Mark Prior, and Freddy Garcia. Halladay could have filled one of those empty spots.
Chamberlain reportedly showed up to Spring Training yesterday noticeably overweight and even GM Brian Cashman admitted that Chamberlain is no sure-thing to be with the Bombers with the season begins.
Think the Yankees would like a mulligan?
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