Right now the Yankees only two solid starters are clearly Mussina and Pettitte. However, both have contracts up after the year and are getting to that age where you never know when they`ll hit a wall. Despite this, I believe the Yankees need both of them back. Here`s a look at the two of them:
Pettitte`s ERA has taken a jump this year and lately he has struggled greatly. However, his periphereals are still very good. His GB% and his K/BB are both solid. The real problem for Pettitte has been a high BABIP. His FIP is very good at 3.66 as well. For a one year deal I would love to have Pettitte back. The biggest concern with him is retirement.
Mussina has been incredible all year. He`s always been a control pitcher but he`s had the lowest BB/9 of his career this year. That`s been the biggest difference for him. However, his K/9 and GB% both rose as well. He`s managed to overcome a .322 BABIP and a FB which continues to get slower. Looking back at his 2007 nmbers he seemed to have been getting more than a little unlucky as well. His BABIP was an incredibly high .340. The question with him is whether or not he`ll come back on a one year deal. I may actually be willing to go for two years on him.
Lets assume they sign a big free agent starter and bring back one of these guys. Look at this rotation:
2) FA starter
5) Hughes (?)
This isn't bad but Joba will be starting 2009 in the bullpen. Who is the 5th starter then for the first few months? Aceves? Kennedy? Igawa? Not to mention we don't have much depth in the scenario. I just don't feel comfortable at all in this scenario. If they can sign two top FA starters then I`m fine with it but what are the chances of that happening?