Top Five Best Fits for the Yankees on the Free Agent Market
I am a big fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers recent strategy of stocking up on good-when-healthy arms like Rich Hill, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, and Brett Anderson. Big market clubs like LA or New York can afford to take risks with those types of players, especially on short-term deals. As we saw with Hill in the second half and the playoffs, when one of those guys works out, it can be the deciding factor in your season.
There are a number of those types of guys available this winter. Hill, Kazmir, and Anderson are all free agents again, as are promising but injury prone guys like Kris Medlen and Henderson Alvarez. Probably the most intriguing of this group is Alvarez, who is still just 27 and received National League Cy Young votes as recently as 2014 with the Miami Marlins when he pitched to a 2.65 ERA and 3.58 FIP in 187 IP, making his first career All-Star squad.
Of course, Alvarez has now undergone two shoulder surgeries in the past two years and managed to throw just 33 rehab innings in the minors this year after signing a one year $4.25 million pact with the Oakland Athletics last winter. Another year removed from being a quality MLB starter, Alvarez may have to settle for a minor league pact this winter.
It might even be worth guaranteeing Alvarez a million or two to bring him into spring training and let him compete for one of the two open spots in the team’s rotation. Starting pitchers in their prime years with Alvarez’s resume are hard to come by, so even if the chance that it works out is small, it’s a risk the team needs to be taking.