MLB: The New York Yankees Have To Find Two Starters To Fill Rotation

Mike StainkampContributor IFebruary 10, 2011

Andy Pettitte won't be returning in 2011.
Andy Pettitte won't be returning in 2011.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

With only a few days until pitchers and catchers report to Tampa for Spring Training, the Yankees have learned that Andy Pettitte will not return to the rotation.

This offseason, they added three pitchers that will be competing for the back end of the Yankees starting rotation. 

The Yanks have added Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon and Mark Prior, all to minor league contracts, to compete with Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre in Spring Training for the final two spots in the rotation.

Garcia's contract, pending a physical, is worth $1.5 million, with an additional $3.6 million based on incentives. Colon's contract is worth $900,000 if he makes the opening day roster, and Prior's contract is for $750,000 if he makes the roster and could double based on incentives.

The front end of the rotation is set: C.C Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes.

Last year, Garcia, 35, was 12-6 for the White Sox with a 4.64 ERA in 28 starts. Colon did not pitch in the majors last season and hasn't pitched a full season since 2005, the year he won the AL Cy Young Award with the Anaheim Angels. Colon will be 38 in May and could only cost the Yanks $900,000 if he makes the Opening Day Roster. 

Prior hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2006 and was in the Texas Rangers system last season, although he only made one appearance, throwing one shutout inning in relief. If Prior fades out as a candidate for the starting rotation, he may be a candidate to make the team coming out of the bullpen.