For weeks, Brian Cashman has reiterated over-and-over the following mantra:
By refusing to cow-tow to the Rockies' demands on compensation in exchange for mediocre starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, Cashman has done just that.
Now, reports are surfacing that the Yankees are in hot pursuit of another mediocre pitcher, 32-year-old lefty Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros.
What are the Astros looking for in return?
Certainly names like Jesus Montero, Delin Betances, Manny Banuelos and Austin Romine would not be part of the conversation, as Rodriguez, while he may currently be the "best pitcher" left on the market, is not at a level that would require such lofty compensation.
Speaking of compensation, Rodriguez has some significant compensation remaining on his contract—not including what is still owed to him in 2011, he is due a total of $23 million for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, at the conclusion of which he will be 34 years old.
At that point, the Yankees would have to decide between picking up a $13 million option for 2014, or paying a $2.5 million buyout.
Would you give up anything of value for mediocrity?
For his career, Rodriguez boasts a win-loss record under .500 (69-71) and has allowed over four runs a game (4.11 ERA), all in the National League.
Rodriguez is no sure thing.
There is no question that the Yankees starting rotation could use some reinforcements—I cannot argue against that.
But at what level those reinforcements need to be is debatable.
Rodriguez has appeared in three postseason games for his career, none as a starting pitcher.
Over 4.2 innings, he has allowed five hits and five walks while striking out four.
His 3.86 ERA in the postseason is actually not that bad, but his 2.14 WHIP is alarming.
Who's to say that someone like Adam Warren, the talented 23-year-old righty currently pitching for the Yankees Triple-A affiliate Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, couldn't put up the same, if not better performance?
On the year, Warren has a 6-3 record with a 3.39 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. Over 119.1 innings, he has allowed 115 hits, 45 walks and struck out 79.
Rodriguez is no sure thing, and to give up anything of value when you could very well have an equal, if not better alternative sitting less than 200 miles away from Yankee Stadium would be, well, stupid.
Cashman needs to stay the course and remain true to his word.