For the second time in this off-season, Yankee General Manager, Brian Cashman, has traded a "name" Yankee for more young pitching. When the Yankees officially announce they have traded Randy Johnson for a package of players which will include pitchers Ross Ohlendorf (25), and Steven Jackson (24), the "Bombers" will now have a surplus of young talented pitchers that they groom for the future or trade for an established ace.
Ohlendorf and Jackson will now join Humberto Sanchez (23), Kevin Whelan (23), and Anthony Claggett (22) (the three pitchers the Yankees received in the Gary Sheffield deal) in forming one of baseball’s best collections of young pitching prospects. When you add Yankee pitching farm hands, Phil Hughes (20), Jeff Karstens (24), Darrell Rasner (26), and Tyler Clippard (21), to the list, the Yankees have suddenly restocked their minor league system with young quality arms. That is an asset that every major league franchise would love to have.
While it’s great to have a plethora of talented pitching prospects, we know the Yankees are a "now" team, and thus more moves are going to be made to bolster a starting staff that currently looks like this:
1) Chien-Ming Wang
2) Andy Pettitte
3) Mike Mussina
4) Carl Pavano
5) Kei Igawa
With most of Randy Johnson’s $16-million coming off the Yankees payroll, you can be certain the "Bombers" will now make an all out effort to sign Roger Clemens. If the Yankees succeed in bringing the "Rocket" back to the Bronx, the team then may try to move Carl Pavano and a few of the young pitching prospects for a hurler like Dontrelle Willis. In my opinion, Cashman is stockpiling the young pitching to create a "dream rotation" for 2007. If my thinking is correct, the Yankee 2007 rotation could look like this:
Igawa could then become a spot-starter and help out in the bullpen. He could join Luis Vizcaino (who was also included in the Johnson trade) in helping Cashman re-tool a bullpen that also needs another lefty in it. These moves will also give Phil Hughes and Tyler Clippard another year to develop in AAA Scranton.
Brian Cashman now has ammunition, and you know he won’t be afraid to use it to improve the Yankees for the 2007 season. This should make for a very interesting rest of the off-season for the Bronx Bombers.