Good morning Fackers. Yesterday the Yankees declined their $1.25M 2010 option on pitcher Sergio Mitre. However, this does not necessarily spell the end of Mitre's time with the Yankees. He has not accumulated enough service time to be eligible for free agency, so the Yankees can retain his services by offering him arbitration prior to December 1st.
Last week, Joel Sherman reported that the Yankees intended to keep Mitre but were in the process of determining if his arbitration figure would be less than the value of his option. The organizational meetings began yesterday, and apparently the club wasted little time in determining they stood to pay Mitre less through arbitration. They had until Thursday to make a decision on the option.
I was fairly critical of Mitre as he faltered through his twelve appearances with the Yankees during the second half of last season. However, as the old adage goes, you can't have too much pitching. The front end of the rotation is well set with CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, and presumably Andy Pettitte. I'd prefer to see Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes occupy the final two slots of the rotation, but the presence of Ian Kennedy, Alfredo Aceves, Mitre, presumably Chad Gaudin, minor league prospects such as Ivan Nova and Zach McAllister, and whatever spring training invitees are in camp will provide needed depth and competition.
While no one will ever confuse Mitre with a Cy Young Award candidate, he has shown signs of promise during his career. By the time next season begins, Mitre will be twenty one months removed from Tommy John Surgery. He made a relatively quick return from the procedure and was likely still finding his way back during his struggles last season. While I don't expect him to make the Yankees out of Spring Training, you never know what could happen with injuries and such. As a sinkerballer, Mitre may be more effective as a reliever, a role which he served for the majority of the 2005 and 2006 seasons.