Plan B?

According to Jon Heyman, Cliff Lee has two offers for seven years at more than $20 million but the teams remain a mystery. Since the Yankees are reportedly not going to seven years, there seems to be a decent chance they won’t get their man. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that Lee signs elsewhere. What are the Yankees options for 2011?

1- Stick with what they have. This would be the most interesting move and the chances of it happening probably depend on Andy Pettitte. If Pettitte comes back, the Yankees could open with almost the same rotation they had last year, swapping Ivan Nova in for Vazquez. Considering how poorly Vazquez pitched, you could make the argument that Nova might actually be an upgrade. Now if Pettitte doesn’t come back, the Yankees would have two rotation holes to fill. I swore I would never say this again, but in this case, wouldn’t it make sense to consider Joba for the rotation?

2- Sign a different free agent starter. The HUGE problem with this scenario is which one do you want? After Lee, Carl Pavano is probably the best starter left and we know that won’t happen. The Yankees could take a run at someone like a Justin Duchscherer and keep their fingers crossed that he stays healthy. A bet like that again probably rests on Andy Pettitte’s decision as Nova would then presumably be ready in the minors for when the injury bug bit. Short of that, is anyone up for the return of Chien-Ming Wang?

3- Try the trade market. Now Zack Greinke is clearly on the block, but you know that the price is going to be Montero. Further more, Greinke had a pretty severe social anxiety disorder and while he is by all accounts healthy, there is a big difference between New York and Kansas City. I’m just not sure the risk would be worth the price of Montero.

The pitcher who would be worth that price is Felix Hernandez. That’s the guy I would target if I were the Yankees. I wonder if Seattle would have any interest if the Yankees offered a package with Montero and Betances in it?

4- Screw the pitching, bash their way to a pennant. It’s all about run differential and the Yankees scored 859 runs in 2010. Add Carl Crawford to the mix and that could go up. Now Crawford is probably going to cost a ridiculous amount as well, but it’s an option.

What do you think?