If you’ve been following the New York Yankees over the past decade, you’ve heard the same issue discussed over and over. That issue is the lack of starting pitching. Lack of starting pitching and consistent hitting have been the Yankees downfall.
The bombers attempted to address the starting pitching issue last offseason. The Yankees went out and signed the best pitcher on the market in Gerrit Cole. Overall, Cole had a very good first year in pinstripes. He pitched very well in his three postseason starts.
However, the Yankees still fell short and didn’t make it to the World Series. The World Series drought for the Yankees continued in 2020. To be fair to the Yankees, their rotation took some injury hits this year that really hindered the club.
Luis Severino (injury) and Domingo German (suspension) missed the entire season. James Paxton also missed a majority of the season due to injuries. The Yankees are planning on having German back next year and Severino to return at some point.
However, there are still a ton of question marks about the rotation moving forward. Masahiro Tanaka is a free agent and there is no guarantee that the Yankees retain his services. Jordan Montgomery will get a starting rotation spot, but after that, there’s question marks.
Right now if things go as planned, the Yankees have three rotation spots confirmed: Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and Domingo German. Severino will take a spot when he’s healthy, but there’s no word on when that’ll be.
The Yankees options?
In a perfect world, the Yankees would make another sexy splash and sign Trevor Bauer. Imagine a rotation led by Cole and Bauer, however, we know that the bombers are looking to cut payroll instead of adding this offseason.
The Yankees are focused on bringing back DJ LeMahieu and that is not going to come cheap. Once they resign LeMahieu, they will look at how to improve the club. I could see them adding a guy like Archie Bradley for the bullpen.
For the starting rotation, they are not going to be shopping near the top. Instead, I think the Yankees are going to be in the bargain bin hoping for a diamond in the rough. They will also be looking to add a veteran presence in the rotation.
Two names that would make a lot of sense are Jose Quintana and Corey Kluber. The Yankees have liked Quintana for a long time and originally attempted to acquire him from the White Sox before they traded him to the Cubs.
Quintana really struggled with the Cubs in comparison to his years with the White Sox. However, the Yankees might see him as a guy who can be stable in the rotation. Kluber is a wild card to me.
The former Cy Young winner is just a couple of years removed from being one of baseball’s best. However, injuries have seen him pitch only 36.2 innings in two seasons. If the Yankees believe they can recapture some of his best stuff, I can see them bringing him in.
Either way, I expect the Yankees to add a starter this offseason not named Masahiro Tanaka. Even if they bring Tanaka back, I think Cashman will try to add another rotation option on the cheap end. I do not see them trying to go fully young with Garcia and Schmidt.