Yahoo! Contributor Network
This article was created on the Yahoo! Contributor Network, where users like you are published on Yahoo! every day. Learn more »Yahoo! Contributor Network
New York Yankees Offseason: Mark Buehrle is an Upgrade Over Freddy Garcia, but Garcia Likely to Return
Since left-hander C.J. Wilson(notes) and Japanese righty Yu Darvish are considered huge gambles due to what it would cost a team to land either, there's a market for price-friendlier veterans Freddy Garcia(notes) and Mark Buehrle(notes).
So far this offseason, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hasn't shown he seriously intends to pursue Wilson or Darvish. The GM, however, was quoted this week as saying he is interested in both Garcia and Bartolo Colon(notes). Buehrle is also considered an attractive option for Cashman, according to various reports. The question is, who between Garcia and Buehrle would make New York better?
Garcia, who had a base salary of $1.5 million this past season but got paid more than double that amount by reaching his incentives, never seemed overwhelmed by New York or its media. He blended in well with his teammates, was receptive to reporters and had his moments in big games.
Garcia got a losing decision in Game 2 of the 2011 ALDS vs. the Detroit Tigers, but his 5 1/3-inning, four-run (three earned) effort was good enough to keep New York in the game, which it lost 5-3. Cashman knows what he'd be getting in the right-hander should he decide to bring him back for another season.
Buehrle, who made $14 million in 2011, has been a resourceful starter his entire career, compiling 10 or more wins and pitching at least 201 innings in each of the last 11 seasons. The four-time all-star is 2-1 with a 4.11 ERA in the postseason over four starts (six total appearances) and is a three-time reigning Gold Glove Award winner.
Given Buehrle's experience and history, it is tough to imagine him struggling in the AL East, against which he was 3-2 this year. He would be a solid addition to the Yankees and, one can argue, an upgrade over Garcia because he is younger and thus less prone to breaking down. The problem, if you're Cashman, is that Buehrle will command a higher salary than Garcia and multi-year deal.
Garcia's return appears likelier simply because the alternatives are either too risky or, in Buehrle's case, not significantly better.
Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Sign up here to start publishing your own sports content.