So the Yankees signed Scott Erickson to a minor league contract, with General Manager Brian Cashman referring to him as an “insurance policy.” Apparently Cashman wants to battle the Astros and Jeff Bagwell for the title of Worst Insurance Policy Ever. The article mentions that Joe Torre, Ron Guidry, and Joe Kerrigan watched Erickson throw off a mound for ten minutes on Thursday; what it doesn’t mention is that those ten minutes elapsed between the time that Erickson released his first pitch and when it hit the catcher’s glove.
Let’s face it: Erickson is terrible. He was very good in 1991 and pretty good in 1992. He has not been good since. Here are his ERAs since 1992: 5.19, 5.44, 4.81, 5.02, 3.70, 4.01, 4.81, 7.87, 5.55, 6.67, and 6.02. How many of those are good? None. 3.70 is decent, and 4.01 is respectable. So in his past eleven seasons, he has been decent once, respectable once, and lousy nine times. On top of that, he hasn’t exactly been the picture of perfect health. He hasn’t started 30 games in a season since 1999, and he has started 58 games TOTAL since then. He missed all of 2001 (Tommy John surgery) and 2003 (torn labrum), and only pitched in six games in 2004 (hamstring).
So let’s sum this up: he’s old (38), he has a dangerous history of injuries, and he’s not very good even when he’s healthy. That’s one heck of an insurance policy, Mr. Cashman.