Ripped from my post at Was Watching. How I'd like to see the 2007 rotation mid-season:
1. CM Wang
3. Daisuke Matsuzaka
No Mussina. Not because I don't like him, but because there's a club option for $17 million, way too much for a good but declining 38-year-old pitcher. If they can resign him for $8 million or less, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I feel $10 million is too high. I'd rather see them use the money to get more bullpen help, and for Matsuzaka, the best pitcher in Japan. It's going to cost A LOT to get him. The Seibu Lions will require a 'posting fee' just to allow a MLB team to negotiate with him. It's estimated to be about $35 million just to talk to him. Then at least $16 million per year to sign him. But by all accounts, he will be a stud.
If Hughes and/or Clippard continue to excel at Columbus next year, then I see one of them making the first injury-induced start, probably in May when Wang or Randy or Wright pulls a groin or something. And if they do well, they may replace Wright permanently. And Wright will be on the team because he has a $7 million club option, or a $4 million buyout. There's no point to spend $4 mil to get rid of him when for just $3 mil more you could use him as a solid long reliever/spot starter.
What I think we will see:
The Yanks I fear will instead resign Moose for 2 years at $20-24 million. He's never been a dominant pitcher, and his best years are well behind him. I feel the same about Zito, who'll also command a boatload, his agent being Scott Boras. He's only 28, but doesn't have dominant stuff, and doesn't pitch well against Boston - a 6.75 era the last 3 years.
My post continued: And I do like Moose, but his best years are behind him. He'll be 38 in December. Same thing with RJ, who turns 43 tomorrow. Karstens' are ahead of him. The Yanks aren't going to pick up Moose's option, so what is it gonna cost to resign Moose for 2 years? $24 mil? $16? Karstens will cost a small fraction of that.
Karstens: 9 er in 23.2 ip (including tonight), which equates to a 3.42 era (if my calculations are correct). That's quite good. I know it's 'just' 23.2 innings, but I've liked what I've seen. I think the money can be used to shore up the pen, or get Matsuzaka, who is going to cost a lot.
Wright will probably be back as the long reliever/spot starter (for $7 mil unfortunately, because it's better than letting him walk for $4 mil). I prefer Karstens to Rasner because he is younger and has proven himself in more than 1 game.
Karstens currently has a lower era than all 5 of our starters.
He's proven he can get major leaguers out consistently, and with the imminent arrivals of Hughes & Clippard in the foreseeable future, I dont believe Mussina is a necessity to this ballclub, and the $ could be spent more wisely.
The things I have against Mussina are the money he'll command, and that he's never really been a dominant pitcher, only a good to very good one (with the Yanks). Even with my rotation for next year, we'd still have Wang, Randy, Wright, established major leaguers. Matsuzaka is the best pitcher in Japan, hardly an 'unknown.' And Hughes is the top pitching prospect in baseball. Karstens has done a fine job in the show, not to mention 11 straight wins in the minors before coming up.
Other possible 2007 FAs: Mark Buehrle, Ted Lilly, Maddux, Gil Meche, Vicente Padilla, Jason Schmidt, Kerry Wood, Zito, Danys Baez, Gagne, Guardado, Latroy Hawkins, Kolb, Gil Mota, Schoeneweis and Timlin.Maybe the Yanks take a chance on Wood or Gagne - like they did with Dotel - who could become excellent (relief) pitchers if they rehab well.