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Is anybody in this free-agent pitching class worth top dollar? Not in my opinion.
C.J. Wilson is the best option, but at 31 years old he is not really a long-term solution. Wilson has also only been in the rotation for two years, and his 5.79 ERA in the 2011 postseason did not help his case. Throw in a fastball that averages only 91 miles per hour, control issues and a reported asking price of six years and $120 million, and the Yankees should pass.
Yu Darvish is the other big name on the market, but he is not much better. Yes, he has been very impressive in Japan, even more so than Daisuke Matsuzaka. I also outlined all of the good things about Yu Darvish here. But while he has a good chance to succeed, I do not think he is worth a total of $100 million or more for his posting fee and contract.
Mark Buehrle is the best option on the free-agent market, but he is not the ace the Yankees are looking for. Buehrle will be 33-years old on Opening Day, and while he has thrown for 200+ innings in 10 straight years, his 3.59 ERA at US Cellular Field is not worth the price. Some team will offer Buehrle four years at $12 to $15 million per year, and the Yankees would be wise to look elsewhere.
Roy Oswalt has back issues, and the Yankees have ruled him out. Next.
Edwin Jackson is the last pitcher worth considering. At 28 years old, Jackson is young enough, but his inconsistency and 6.67 K/9 in 2011 worry me. Jackson is a possibility, but he is not the pitcher that the Yankees need.