Free agent pitcher Mark Buerhle might be a better fit for the New York Yankees than C.J. Wilson -- at least in the minds of a few MLB evaluators.
Wilson is considered the best pitcher on the market in most circles, but, when it comes to playing in a demanding New York universe, some believe Buehrle might be better suited.
If you are looking for value, it's Buehrle because the Yankees have CC Sabathia and aren't looking for an ace,'' said an AL Central evaluator, according to the New York Post.
The Yankees have Wilson, Buerhle and three other pitchers on their radar in order to bring more stability to the rotation. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already spoken briefly with representatives for Wilson and plans to contact Jeff Berry, who represents Buehrle, the Post reports. Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson's reps will also be contacted in the near future. And, it is expected that Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will be courted after the Japanese postseason ends within the next couple of weeks.
It is unknown what the monetary value of Buerhle, who will be 33 in March, would be at this point, but Wilson is predicted to probably command a long-term deal for up to $15 million per season.
Still, Buerhle has a World Series ring, a perfect game and a no-hitter on his resume. Also, since 2001, he has posted at least 10 wins with at least 200 innings thrown. Yet Wilson is younger (he will turn 31 later this month) with a higher velocity and more deceptive repertoire of pitches.
Stuff-wise, he is at 91 to 93 (mph). He has enough deception and just wild enough,'' a veteran Wilson watcher said. His stuff is more crisp than Buehrle's.''
Wilson, who has made 73 starts for the Rangers, is 43-35 in seven seasons but 31-15 as a starter during the past two seasons with a career 3.60 ERA. Buehrle, who has been a White Sox from 2000 to 2011 and has appeared in 390 games, has 365 starts and is 161-119 with a career 3.83 ERA.
However, postseason numbers show a notable discrepancy. Though Buehrle's numbers aren't stunning-he is 2-1 in four starts appearing in six games with a 4.11 ERA-they are still a little better than Wilson's- 1-5 in nine starts appearing in 10 games with a 4.82 ERA.
As for Oswalt and Jackson, the belief is that they can help a team but there are still questions, especially for Oswalt, 34, who the Phillies decided not to keep after declining his $16 million player option because of a lower back disc problem.
Nevertheless, the possibility exists that Wilson, Buehrle, Oswalt or Jackson doesn't land in The Bronx. Darvish could end up being the top priority, being the youngest of all on the list with the least amount of doubt attached (besides the Yankees past with other Japanese pitchers).
It's very well possible that the Yankees have all eyes on Darvish and wait on other arms until the puzzle that is the Yankees starting staff is solved.