Amidst the media hype surrounding a potential trade for Twins superstar Johan Santana, Yankee fans have lost sight of the pitching talent already on the New York roster.
In that vein, I think it's necessary to take a good look at the arsenal of arms Brian Cashman is fighting so desperately to keep...
1. Chien-Ming Wang
At only 27 years of age, Wang has already established himself as the Yankees' ace.
Combing one of the greatest sinkers in the game with a fastball that tops out at 95 MPH, Wang has been unhittable at times. With a little more consistency, he can become a star.
2. Andy Pettitte
As the most established veteran on the Yankees’ young staff, Pettitte will be instrumental for the Bombers in 2008.
In the most desperate of situations, the team's other hurlers will turn to Pettitte for veteran leadership.
3 Phillip Hughes
In spite of widespread calls for Hughes to be traded for Santana, I hope that the youngster stays right where he is.
Sooner or later, Hughes may become of the better pitchers I've ever had the privilege to watch.
Hughes has already shown flashes of brilliance, as when he nearly pitched a no-hitter against a loaded Texas offense in only his second major league game. With brilliant control, a high-power fastball, and a curveball that moves as though it were under a spell, he's definitely a keeper.
4. Joba Chamberlain
I can’t even begin to say enough about Chamberlain.
In his rookie year, without much previous experience pitching out of the bullpen, Chamberlain established himself as one of the better setup men in baseball. Now that he's a starter, the Yankees are hoping he can bring his 100-MPH fastball to the rotation.
If Chamberlain can pitch with the same effectiveness as a starter that he showed out of the bullpen, we'll be witnessing the birth of a Hall of Famer.
5. Ian Kennedy
Generally, having a fifth starter who completed his previous season with an ERA of 1.89 would be unheard of. However, the Yankees have somehow found themselves so lucky.
If Kennedy continues to build on the success he had in 2007, he may just be the best fifth-slot starter in all of baseball.
6. Mike Mussina
Not a bad option as an emergency spot-starter.
Mussina was the team's ace as recently as two years ago, but now will likely be forced to serve more of a backup role. He may be losing some of his velocity with age, but you couldn't ask for a better option as a reserve.
So yes, Johan Santana may be the best pitcher in baseball at the moment—but in a matter of one or two years, the New York Yankees may own the best rotation, even without the services of Santana.