The New York Yankees are looking to improve their starting rotation. In the spirit of those needs, some people have advocated that the Yankees hit the trade market to acquire a veteran left-handed starting pitcher who has been the ace for a playoff team in the past.
They did make that type of trade on Friday, though perhaps not the move that Yankees’ fans would hope for. It is not Cole Hamels who will join the rotation, but rather Jeff Francis from the Oakland Athletics.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported the deal.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 11, 2014
Lest we forget, the soft-tossing Francis was the no. 1 starter for the 2007 Colorado Rockies and started game one of the World Series that year. Unfortunately for the Yankees, Francis is far removed from that type of success or effectiveness and has been a fringe big league pitcher, at best, in the last few seasons.
Francis’s most recent stop was with the A’s where he worked out of the bullpen. In nine appearances he posted an underwhelming 6.08 ERA. His recent track record as a starter does not tell the story of much more success. In 24 starts in 2012 with those same Rockies, he put up a 5.58 ERA. In 2013 he worked as a starter and out of the bullpen and posted a 6.27 ERA.
The reality is that this move simply gives the Yankees another warm body, either out of the rotation or the bullpen, as they try to survive the rash of injuries to their pitching staff.