Yankees Rumors & News
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It’s a great day for all those New York Yankees fans who spend their time on blogs and message boards dissecting every move the team makes, or doesn’t make.

IPK is coming! IPK, in case you don’t know, is Ian P. Kennedy, the Yankees No. 1 pick in 2006. Fans on Yankee sites everywhere have been calling for Kennedy (12-3, 1.91 ERA at three minor league levels this season) to replace the struggling Mike Mussina in the Yankees rotation.

Now they get their wish, at least for Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay.

This is great news for those fans who have been demanding it. It’s also bad news for the rest of baseball.

That’s not because you can expect Kennedy to go all Joba Chamberlain on the rest of the league. Kennedy, according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, is more like Mussina than he is Chamberlain.

The arrival of Kennedy, whether for one start or the entire month of September, is bad news for baseball because of what it signals — the Yankees deepening commitment to developing AND USING their own young talent.

Look at the pitching staff. It now features home-grown youngsters Kennedy (22), Chamberlain (21), Phil Hughes (21) and Chien Ming-Wang (27). Throw in relievers Edwar Ramirez (26) and Chris Britton (24), who both began the year in the Yankee minor league system, and it’s an amazing transformation.

Who ever thought the Yankee pitching staff would look like that during this September’s playoff push? And that the team would feel good about it.

It’s another indication of the power wielded by GM Brian Cashman, and the change in philosophy he is bringing about.

No longer do the Yankees just overhype a handful of mediocre prospects, then use them to acquire overpriced, fading veterans. Increasingly, they are using their vast resources to draft players others shy away from due to signability or injury concerns (like pitcher Andrew Brackman, this year’s top pick who others passed on because he needs Tommy John surgery).

Often, the Yankees are paying ‘above slot,’ or above the amount recommended by the commissioner’s office, for these youngsters. That might tick off Bud Selig, but it’s not against any rules and it’s a better way to spend money than on fading free agents.

The Yankees have also developed everyday players Melky Cabrera (23) and Robinson Cano (24), and traded for young slugger Wilson Betemit (25).

There is also more talent coming — pitchers Russ Ohlendorf, Alan Horne and Kevin Whelan and outfielder Jose Tabata come to mind.

Sure, the Yankees still have plenty of huge, bad contracts to get out from underneath — like Jason Giambi’s and Johnny Damon’s. They will get out from under those contracts soon enough, however, and that is when the rest of baseball will feel the impact of this change in philosophy.

With the payroll flexibility all these young players will bring, the Yankees won’t have to go signing the Carl Pavano’s and Kyle Farnsworth’s of the world to fill holes.

Instead, they will be able to target top tier free agents like Johan Santana (who could be a free agent after the 2008 season) and spend freely to bring them to the Bronx.

That’s when the rest of baseball will really feel the pain of the Yankees new philosophy.

(– via Valentine’s Views)

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