Yankees Briefing 10/24/11

The World Series remains in full swing, as the Rangers have now drawn even with the Cardinals, effectively reducing the series to a best-of-three finale. The Yankees' main interest in the series might very well come in the form of a certain left-handed pitcher who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

Discussion of the Day: What do you think is a reasonable offer, if any, the Yankees should make for C.J. Wilson?

Behind Enemy Lines: Adam Rubin writes that payroll restrictions will hurt the Mets. The Mets’ financial woes are well known; the team hasn’t been to the postseason since 2006, and it looks like it might be a while before they return there again.

1) Wallace Matthews writes that the Yankees are expected to make a play for Wilson.

Wilson, who is not having a great postseason, is arguably the best free agent pitcher available this offseason (CC Sabathia excepted). The Yankees, who got lucky with Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia in 2011, could certainly use the pitching help, but Wilson won’t come cheap and is on the wrong side of 30. Should Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances live up to the hype, a Wilson signing would perhaps be superfluous, but, as with Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, hype and actual results are two separate things. Whether or not Wilson wants to sign with the Yankees might be another story entirely, but there’s every reason to expect that the Yankees will make a push for the Texas pitcher.

2) Steve S. considers the dilemma of Phil Hughes.

Hughes, as Steve notes, will be entering his age 26 season in 2012 (and, more importantly, his fifth in the majors). Thus, excuses of Hughes being a young and inexperienced pitcher no longer have the weight they might have had a year or two ago (if they still have any weight at all), and Hughes’ constant injuries have to be considered a concern. The inconsistency in which Hughes has been used for the Yankees, both as a starter and out of the bullpen, has very possibly hurt his effectiveness, and, as Steve writes, the pitcher who was once a top-ranked pitching prospect in all of baseball will again have to earn a starting job in the spring.

3) Bill Madden compares general manager Brian Cashman’s tenure with the Yankees to that of Theo Epstein with the Red Sox.

Madden writes that Cashman has remained loyal to the Yankees, but this shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise: the Yankees have been consistently good, missing the postseason just once, and there’s no bigger market than New York in professional baseball (if not professional sports). On the other hand, had the Red Sox not collapsed in September (perhaps the worst collapse in major league history), it’s not a given that Epstein would have left the Red Sox. Should a similar collapse happen in New York, calls for Cashman’s job would likely grow very loud indeed.

4) The winter leagues remain in full swing.

Hector Noesi has made just one start in the Dominican league, and will certainly benefit from more innings after spending so much of the 2011 season in the bullpen for the Yankees. The Puerto Rican winter league starts in the first week of November; rosters for that league have yet to be released.