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Friday, February 18, 2011

Eyeing the ranks for possible 'failed starters' as Rivera's eventual successor-Joel Sherman

  • Joel Sherman has a hunch Rivera's eventual replacement may be a "converted starter" or what is known less politely as a 'failed starter':
2/18, Joel Sherman: "So who will replace Rivera when he no longer closes for the Yankees? The natural reaction would be to look toward Rafael Soriano. He is here now, after all. But, remember, he has opt-out clauses after both the 2011 and 2012 seasons. So if suddenly the Yankees needed him to close, you can expect that Soriano and his agent, Scott Boras, would push them to a new deal.

Also, keep in mind though Soriano is 31, he has yet to have three straight healthy, successful seasons in the majors (he will be trying that this year). Also, temperamentally, there are big questions about him. One of the secrets of Rivera’s success, especially in New York, is that he is imperturbable, drama-free. His teammates love him (not the case for Soriano in his prior two stops, Atlanta and Tampa Bay), trust him.

For some reason, I think Rivera’s first successor will end up being a converted starter from within the system,

  • someone like Phil Hughes or Dellin Betances or Andrew Brackman.

It is just a hunch. But when I asked Brian Cashman about it, the GM at first said he is worrying about starting pitching now and not who the closer might be down the line. But then he added, “My aim the past few years has been to add pitching depth and pitching depth into the organization for whatever is down the road.”"...

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