As the Yankees take a rest day, our focus turns to Ron Villone. Villone represents the left-handed reliever in our bullpen, and he has done a fine job, providing monetary utility of $1.4M. He is in his contract year, so it is important to consider our options in 2K7. The obvious option, and the only one I am going to discuss in this entry is simply re-signing Villone. Villone is 36, so if we wait till the end of the season and make him a fair offer, we should be able to re-sign him. That is my current top choice.
The Yankees starting rotation is pretty well set for the 2007 Season. Randy Johnson and Jaret Wright are both signed, while Chien-Min Wang and Shawn Chacon are both under team control. With Carl Pavano still in the organization, the only open spot is Mike Mussina’s. Mussina has a $17M option for 2007, but because of a guarenteed $1.5M buyout that option is really only $15.5M. Since the team doesn’t have to decide until late into the season, we get to monitor Mike throughout this year and see how he is playing.
In order to justify the option, Mussina will need to be worth 7.8 wins more then the average replacement player (a WARP of 7.8+). Is he on track to make it? As of this entry, Mussina has a 3.1 WARP. Since about a fourth of the season has been completed, he is currently on track for a WARP in the range of 12; easily justifying the option. Although the free-agent market is extremely strong for starting pitching next season, as of right now there is no point in looking. I will check back on this projection when we are about halfway through the season.