Here’s your morning Yankee round-up:
At River Ave Blues, Mike Axisa covers the Joe Girardi deal while Ben Kabak notes that Leo Mazzone has interest in being the Yankees’ next pitching coach.
Over at Yankeeist, Mark Warden asks: Should they stay or should they go?
Jay Jaffe has a good, long post on Joba Chamberlain at the Pinstriped Bible, and Steve Goldman cautions to leave Cliff Lee alone (I’m with Steve on this one):
Even before last night’s Game 1 disappointment, I have been firmly convinced that the Yankees should not do what everyone expects them to do, and throw the gross domestic product of Luxembourg at the left-hander. In the last few years, Lee has become one of the great control artists of all time. And yet, he is also 31. He is at that same dangerous stage of life that so many other Yankees have reached, where the minor aches and pains of one’s 20s become the surgeries of one’s 30s. As with the A.J. Burnett contract, a Lee who is not in peak form will tie the team’s hands for years to come, soaking up dollars and a roster spot that would be better spent on the young.
…As in any casino game, when you bet on a pitcher, the odds are slanted in favor of the house. For teams with no other options, or a team geared up to win it all now and then sink back into the second division, giving a veteran starter a lot of money for too many years is a reasonable plan. That’s what the Mets did with Pedro Martinez, paying for four years when there was only a reasonable expectation that they might get two. In the event, they got one. Cliff Lee is younger than Martinez, and perhaps he’s a better bet health-wise, but there is no way to know for certain. The Yankees have choices, some of whom will be viable big leaguers three years from now, when whichever team signs Lee is trying to figure out the best way to get rid of him. The Yankees aren’t in that position. They have alternatives, choices they’ve spent good money on. Now is the time to test them and find the next Cliff Lee, or even the next Andy Pettitte. He could be lurking somewhere in the pile, and he won’t cost a fraction of what Lee does. If the Yankees leave Lee to others, they might even get to find out who he is.