No more debating or Hendricks emails – Roger Clemens will be a Yankee in 2007. He made the announcement today at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning stretch. He’s signed a minor league contract with New York and should be pitching in the bigs by June 1 at the latest. According to Peter Gammons on Sunday Night Baseball, the Yanks offered Clemens $28MM for the season and the Red Sox $18MM. Both figures are pro-rated, and the Red Sox were hoping to have Clemens start in late June rather than late May. I’m surprised the Sox wouldn’t top $3MM per month.
Peter Abraham has additional details: the Yanks first offered Clemens $25.5MM in Spring Training, wanting him at that time. Abraham says a 2007 debut in the first week of June seems likely, and a commenter at his blog makes an educated guess of June 8th against the Pirates at Yankee Stadium.
Clemens is a player worth five wins by himself in just half a season, if you are a proponent of WARP. And I don’t mean pitching wins – I mean wins in the standings for the Yanks above what a replacement level guy, say Darrell Rasner, would provide. What was at one point a laughable starting rotation for a team with such a huge payroll will become the following in a month and change:
The Yankees are currently 13-15, 5.5 games behind the Red Sox. The wild card still isn’t the most attainable alternative, with the Indians and Tigers both playing .620 baseball.