In spite of their pitching, the 2011 New York Yankees won the American League East Division and reached the playoffs. With CC Sabathia acting as the team’s pitching anchor, the rest of the rotation swung back and forth with pendulum-like consistency. For the most part, the team is set with its offensive prowess, making pitching the top priority this offseason.
One of the most talked about pitching free agents is left-handed starter C.J. Wilson. During the past few years, Wilson has broken out as a durable and successful starter in the American League.
In a lackluster free agent class, he is pursuing superstar like attention.
Unfortunately for Christopher John Wilson, Yankee General manager Brian Cashman is not a dense man.
Cashman did reach out to Wilson's agent in early November, but he likely sees the red flags and knows an ill-advised pounce for Wilson could hurt the club for years to come.
These are the reasons C.J. Wilson would be a horrible fit for the New York Yankees.
Andre Agassi told us that “image is everything.”
The Yankees subscribe to that notion as well. Neatly groomed and professional is the image the team demands from its players and there is no negotiation.
Even when captain Don Mattingly refused to shave his sideburns, George Steinbrenner and Mr. Burns told Donnie Baseball there were no exceptions to the grooming requirements.
C.J. Wilson has been trying to display a powerful image as well.
While it’s probable the Yankees approve of his “straightedge” lifestyle, his color coordinated glove management could present issues.
In his Texas tenure, Wilson would use either his red or blue glove that matched the color of the Rangers’ jersey that day.
Even though the Yankees don’t switch the colors of their jerseys outside the traditional white and gray, this sort of personal proclivity for distraction would not be accepted in pinstripes.
Mr. Wilson, New York already has a Martha Stewart. Maybe he can join Roger Dorn in Cleveland and be an “interior decorator.”
The sky is not falling, nor are pigs flying, but the New York Yankees are trying to be more fiscally responsible.
The club has vowed to cut spending like a GOP candidate before, but usually renege and spend like an Arab sheik.
However, the present suits seem quite determined to keep their spending under the $189 million mark, thus eliminating any luxury tax beginning in 2014.
The club is a “repeat offender” of the luxury tax program and will incur a 50% tax in the future if they can’t under the $189 million threshold.
The capital that Wilson is soliciting ends the Yankees’ economical dream.
Asking for close to $120 million will add to an already bloated payroll. If eliminating the luxury tax before 2014 is a serious goal for the team, then there is no way Wilson will be wearing pinstripes.
When free agents are negotiating a new contract, they usually present a long list of achievements to sell themselves.
In C.J. Wilson’s case, he is offering his goods with a very small sample size.
As a starter, Wilson has a record of 31-15. Why so low some might ask?
What gets lost in the shuffle is that he has only been a full-time starter for two years!
In the bullpen from 2006-2009, Wilson gave the Rangers primarily poor results with a record 11-13 and an ERA just fewer than four.
Conceivably, Wilson might be hitting his prime as a starter and the last two years are indicative of his future success. At the same time, he is asking for over $100 million based on two years of accomplishments.
Let’s hope the Yankees aren’t the club to say “yes.”
HE DID IT! No, C.J. Wilson didn’t lead his team to the World Series title.
That was the St. Louis Cardinals topping Wilson’s Rangers in seven games.
What Wilson “did” was a MLB first. He now owns the dubious honor of being the only pitcher to record a loss in the ALDS, ALCS, World Series and the All-Star game in the same year.
All these games radiated big lights on Wilson, and he gloriously melted like an ice cube in Arlington.
In 10 postseason games, he has an unimpressive 1-5 record with a 4.82 ERA. With the Yankees measuring his pros and cons, his playoff statistics will do him no favors.
The Bombers like successful pitchers, but they love successful postseason pitchers. Wilson’s October numbers just won’t get the job done in the Boogie Down.
Aware of his free agent pitching peers, Wilson sees this as the payday he has been waiting for since he picked up a glove. To acquire his services, a team would have to shell out cash and years in the range of $120 million for six or seven years.
It’s no secret the Yankees’ bankroll can swell to the size of a blueberry filled Violet Beauregarde. Cashman, however, knows when not to go for broke.
Well, hopefully he does NOW.
Clearly he has been a successful GM, but his pitching acquisition track record is bit of a black eye to his body of work. Regrettable contracts litter his resume, including Kei Igawa, Carl Pavano, and most recently, A.J. Burnett.
Plugging Wilson in the possible number two starting role could benefit the Yankees for the next few years. But with an inflated price reaching nine digits, a “thanks, but no thanks” is the smarter move by the Bombers.