On Wednesday, we learned that Phil Hughes will soon be ready to face live hitters, as he attempts to come back from a mysterious dead arm. Yankees overmanager Joe Girardi hopes to have him back in July.

While we wait for Hughes to return from his injury (or whatever it is), it’s hard not to think about the time when Phil was regarded as a phenom and deemed untouchable in trades. He’s still only 25, so obviously he still has time to improve and regain some of the abilities that once made him one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. However, as it stands now, Hughes is another blemish in a long line of errors made by the Yankees’ front office when it comes pitchers over the last 6 years.

As you read on, keep in mind that hindsight is 20/20. We agreed and disagreed with these moves over the years. However, when looking purely at results, it’s hard not to argue that the Yankees’ evaluation of pitching talent is looking very suspect.

For our timeline, we’ll look at the post-2005 season Cashman “Full Authority” Years — anything before that is a guess as to who actually made the final decision.

Lousy Signings:

Kyle Farnsworth
Octavio Dotel
Kei Igawa
LaTroy Hawkins
Damaso Marte (re-signing him to a 3-year deal after initial trade)
AJ Burnett
Chan Ho Park
Rafael Soriano (we do know who was behind this one)
Pedro Feliciano

Pitchers who’ve succeeded since being traded away:

Tyler Clippard (for Jonathan Albaladejo) — has been a solid reliever since leaving the Yankees. Since 2008, he’s pitched 194 innings, allowing only 137 hits, while striking out 10.2 per 9 innings and possessing a K/BB of 2.45 — all good for a 2.38 ERA, a 144 ERA+, and xFIPs of 4.28 (2009), 3.64 (2010), and 3.20 (2011).

Ian Kennedy (involved in 3-team deal for Granderson) — Since becoming a fixture in the Arizona rotation, he’s made 44 starts over 273.2 innings with an ERA+ of 116, K/9 of 7.6, a K/BB of 2.51, and xFIPs of 4.10 (2010) and 3.62 (2011).

Pitchers who were unsuccessful after being traded for:
Javy Vazquez

Pitchers they wouldn’t trade away and have since underwhelmed:
Phil Hughes
Joba Chamberlain

When you think about it, the only saving graces are CC Sabathia and so far the trash-heap pick ups of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Other than that, the track record since the end of the 2005 season is not good.


Igawa has taken his talents this season to Double-A Trenton.