This food for thought column
from the Post actually made me do a little thinking, so I thought I'd share it with you. Kevin Kernan asks if Oliver Perez could possibly be a better option for the Yanks than Andy Pettitte, to fill out their rotation.
My initial thought was don't sign another pitcher to a long-term deal. When I looked a little closer, though, the answer wasn't that simple.
I wasn't quite sure what type of contract Perez would command, I figured he's young, and a Boras client, so the contract he'd be looking for was going to be 4+ years, maybe $12M per. I decided to bounce the idea off Tim from MLB Trade Rumors
, he thought a deal for Perez could range anywhere from 3 years, $30+M to maybe 4 years, $44M.
Assuming the deal would fall somewhere in that range, I still have mixed feelings. Part of the appeal for Pettitte is that it would only be a one-year deal. Bring Andy in, let him eat his innings at the back of the rotation, and use the fifth spot in the rotation for some combination of Joba and Hughes. Then next season, when Andy walks, Joba and Hughes (or Kennedy, or whomever) could take the back two spots in the rotation. The youth movement, after all, is centered on the rotation, at least in the shorter-term.
Then again, Pettitte is 37 years-old, there's no guarantee he's even going to accept the $10M offer the Yanks have had on the table forever and he wasn't exactly lights-out last season.
When comparing their numbers from last season, I think a small edge goes to Pettitte. Perez had a slightly better ERA (4.22 to 4.54) and WHIP (1.40 to 1.41) and he k'd guys at a much higher rate. The biggest downside to Perez's game is his control. He walked an ungodly 105 batters in 194 innings in 2008. That's unacceptable.
Pettitte's batting average against was way too high (.290), but he did an excellent job of inducing ground balls (51%) and he kept the walks to a minimum. The last thing you have to take into acccount is that Perez pitching in the National League, in a very pitcher-friendly park, and Pettitte pitched in the American League East.
Perez has owned the Yanks, and seems to pitch better in bigger games, although he did lose 4 of 5 starts duging the Mets' epic folds of the past two Septembers.
All told, if both guys were 27 I'd prefer Pettitte. If you could get both guys for 1 year, $10M, I'd prefer Perez. When you take the whole picture into account, I'm uncertain. You can never have too many starters, that's a lesson we've learned the hard way over the past couple of seasons. If I'm Brian Cashman, I think I try to see if I can get Perez for 3 years, $30M. If he'll do that, I may just put both contracts on the table and see who signs first.
What do you guys think? Yea or Nay to Ollie?