What’s Next?

The addition of Rafael Soriano is a move the Yankees were smart to make. There was no one else in the marketplace who could make the same impact on the Yankees that Soriano will. By adding Soriano, the Yankees have locked down the 8th inning and provided themselves with protection if Mariano gets hurt or suddenly ages- but the real question is what do they do next?

If they are smart, they use Soriano’s presence on the roster as an excuse to move Joba back into the rotation. Yeah, yeah, I know all the arguments against this, but this to me determines whether or not signing Soriano was a smart move. Joba in the pen is now a complete waste, because Robertson-Soriano-Rivera should handle the 7th, 8th and 9th and you also have Feliciano and Logan to get out tough lefties. But, Joba in the rotation adds tremendous value because the Yankees need a 4th and 5th starter right now.

It’s pointless to rehash all the arguments, the comments, etc., about this but there is one critical fact to remember- the guy is still only 24. He isn’t a finished product yet. Put him in the 2011 rotation and you may get the 4.75 ERA and 157 innings you got in 2009. The Yankees won 95 games this past season with two guys putting up numbers much, much worse than that, so that wouldn’t be a disaster. But, you might also get something much better from Joba, perhaps he shows off the form that allowed him to compile a 3.58 ERA in his first 20 starts of 2009. The Yankees are linked to a lot of mediocre pitchers to fill out their rotation, why not go with a guy who 18 months ago was considered one of the best prospects in baseball?