The Yankees head into the 2010 season with the front four spots of their rotation set, but with an open competition for the final spot. Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are the front runners for that spot, but manager Joe Girardi maintains that others like Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Alfredo Aceves will be give a chance to win the job.
Gaudin, 27 in March, will earn $2.95MM in 2010 and will become a free agent after the season. In 31 games (25 starts) for the Padres and Yankees, he posted a 4.64 ERA with an 8.5 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9. He has experience starting and relieving, and has thrown at least 90 innings in each of the last three seasons.
Mitre, on the other hand, with earn $850K in his age-29 season in 2010, and still has another year of arbitration eligibility ahead of him. After missing the entire 2008 season with Tommy John surgery, Mitre posted a 6.79 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) last year, striking out just 5.6 men per nine innings. He should improve as he gets further away from his surgery.
Since both Gaudin and Mitre are out of options, they would need to clear waivers before they could be sent to the minors. Since the Yankees only have room for one of them on their pitching staff, the other could become trade bait. Can you think of any potential fits of either Gaudin or Mitre? Maybe the Dodgers since they need a fifth starter?