16 Aug 2007
The Yankees just gave a guy with less than 100 innings of college ball and an arm in need of surgery $4.5 million and a major league contract. Have they gone insane?
It is certainly easy to say they have, after all, that is a lot of money, but on second glance, this is all part of the plan that Brian Cashman has been developing with good results so far. Basically, the Yankees are going to use their considerable financial advantages to get high-ceiling players in the draft. Player who some of the other teams will avoid because of the costs involved with signing them. So, the Yankees drafted Brackman, a 6’10” flamethrower that scouts loved because they could afford him. In fact, they spent somewhere around 10$ million when all is said and done on their first fifteen picks in the draft.
That’s a lot of money, but it is still just one season of Carl Pavano (Actually, when you factor luxury tax in, it is less than a season of Carl) and that is how we have to look at these things now. Developing young pitchers has become the mantra of the organization and by aiming for the high-risk/high reward type of player you sometimes hit the lottery. (Remember, last season Joba Chamberlain scared away a lot of teams because of cost and arm problems.)
I am not sure what will happen with Brackman. If he indeed has surgery, which seems likely, we won’t see him in the Bronx until 2010 at the earliest in my mind. But, besides Brackman there are a lot of interesting names out there, a couple of catchers, Ryan Pope who has thrown 19 innings at Staten Island already and Damon Sublett who has five home runs there in 175 AB’s. What seems fair to say is that some of the 2007 draft picks will work out and because the Yankees went for talent regardless of cost, some of those picks should work out quite well.
I think it will take another year or two, but a Yankees’ minor league system teeming with prospects seems to be attainable. If the team is indeed ready to look inside first before signing the big free agent, the rest of baseball better watch out.
I love Torre putting Giambi at first against the very tought Verlander and I imagine it is also a way of playing him before facing the lefty tomorrow night.