Discussions have continued since the failure of the New York Yankees to land Cliff Lee in the offseason that the Yankees must trade for an ace starting pitcher.
Let's take a look at how significant a Cy Young winner or even a 20 game winner is to a team's chances to make it to the Fall Classic.
If you look at the Cy Young winners over the past ten years in each league, you have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a Cy Young winner pitching in the World Series for either league.
In 2001 Randy Johnson won the NL Cy Young and he pitched for the eventual champion Arizona Diamondbacks.
Facing Johnson in that World Series was Roger Clemens of the Yankees who won the Cy Young in the AL in 2001.
No other Cy Young winner since 2001 has helped his team get to the World Series. In many situations the Cy Young went to a hurler from a team who was so far down in the back they couldn't even imagine playing in the World Series.
The AL Cy Young in 2010 was, of course, Felix Hernandez. And the Seattle Mariners were among the worst teams in baseball.
In 2009 Zack Greinke won the award in the AL and his Kansas City Royals were pitiful.
Tim Lincecum won that year in the NL and the Giants finished 88-74 and were third in the NL West. Lincecum also won in 2008 when the Giants were 72-90.
Looking at the last three years no team that made it to the World Series had a pitcher with 20 wins.
The closest was the 2009 Yankees when Sabathia won 19. But after CC, the top Yankee pitchers in terms of wins in '09 were Andy Pettitte with 14 and AJ Burnett with 13.
The Yankees beat the Phillies in 2009. Philadelphia featured Joe Blanton, AJ Happ and Jamie Moyer all of whom won 12 games during the regular season.
In 2010 the Giants beat the Rangers in the Series. Lincecum won 16 games, Matt Cain won 13 and Jonathan Sanchez won 13.
For Texas CJ Wilson had 15 wins, Colby Lewis had 13 wins and Scott Feldman had 12.
Every true Yankee fan will remember Cliff Lee going to the Rangers at midseason after being traded by the Mariners. But for the final two months of the season Lee was only 4-6 for the Rangers. Counting his time in Seattle his 2010 record was just 12-9.
Going back to 2008 when the Phillies beat the Rays for the title, Philadelphia was led by Jamie Moyers with 16 wins, Cole Hamels with 14 and Kyle Hendrick with 11.
The Rays had no pitcher that year with more than 14 wins. James Shields and Edwin Jackson each had 14, Andy Sonnenstein had 13 and Scott Kazmir had 12.
The point is that pitchers who win 20 games or get the Cy Young do not guarantee entry to the World Series.
Yankee fans who are so anxious to trade the future of the club for Felix Hernandez or any other so called "ace" should realize that clubs who make the final round have deep staffs, not necessarily stars.
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