Balance of Power – Clemens a Yankee

Roger Clemens is a Yankee.


He apparently announced it live at the Yankees game today.


Wow, it is clear the Yankees emptied their vault to get him onboard. It has been reported he was going to get a prorated $20m to sign with whomever, but b/c his announcement came far earlier than expected, I have to assume the Yankees said, "here’s a blank cheque."


This is a major boost for New York and yet another reason to not count them out.


UPDATE: ESPN is reporting that Clemens will be paid $4.5m a month. Assuming he is ready June 1, he’ll make $18m to pitch for 4 months. That’s a pro-rated salary of $27m, compared with his $22m in 2006.


Clemens will work his way back into pitching shape via stops at the various levels of the Yankees minor leagues.


Red Sox fans, should we be worried? I think so, a least a little bit. Let’s say Roger debuts on June 1st, he has the potential to impact the rotation for 2/3 of the season. In addition, the mere mention of his signing has to inject the Yankees with confidence.


Some facts and figures on Clemens in 2006:


19 starts, 113.1 innings, 89 H, 29 BB, 102 K’s, 7-6 record, 2.30 ERA.
That works out to 5.98 innings per start. That is good news for Boston. The Yankees have had to abuse their bullpen already and adding Clemens won’t help if he cannot give them more than 6 a start. Then again, his vitals are solid enough that Joe Torre can trot in his mop-up guy after Clemens is done assuming they have a big enough lead.


Clemens did all those great things against the NL. While I think talk radio makes it seem like the NL is Little League baseball compared to the AL, I will say there is a difference. The 9th hitter in the NL is a lay-up vs a far more competitive at bat in the AL, so I think that will inflate Roger’s numbers a bit. Add to it he will be pitching in the AL East, a tough place to make a living as a pitcher.


Regardless of all the above analysis and statistics, Clemens joining the Yankees is a coup and probably not good news for Boston. Hopefully the addition of Jon Lester in a few weeks will prove a similar boost to the Red Sox.