From ownership on down, everyone in the New York Yankees franchise is hell-bent on one thing, and that’s preventing another playoff absence in 2024 and beyond at all costs.
Jon Heyman of the New York Post recently reported that the Yankees are still active in their pursuits of another strong starting pitcher, and Peter Brody of SB Nation’s Pinstripe Alley justified the Yankees going after Miami Marlins’ Braxton Garrett, saying this about a particular facet of his game that would go a long way in the Bronx:
“Because of the wicked movement on his pitches and his pinpoint control, Garrrett is one of the best pitchers in MLB at commanding the edges of the strike zone and getting called strikes,” Brody said. “The tilt and sweep on his three top pitches (sinker, slider, and changeup) allows him to start those offerings well off the plate, causing the hitter to give up on the pitch before it moves back to catch the black.”
It’s no secret that the Yankees are in search and need of another high-caliber pitcher to ensure that their rotation will be best positioned to overcome prior playoff downfalls and triumph over fellow projected World Series contenders.
Yankees Can Add Balance and Put Away More Hitters With Garrett Acquisition
Brody’s assessment of Garrett is on the money and would service the Yankees greatly.
Including reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ top returning starters from 2023 — Clarke Schmidt, Carlos Rodon Jr., and Nestor Cortes — all favored a four-seam fastball that they used at least 52 percent of the time save Schmidt, who had a balanced usage of his cutter, sinker, sweeper, and changeup, all of which he frequented at 19 percent or more.
The Yankees finished No. 12 in the MLB with 1,439 strikeouts as a unit. Excluding Cole, Cortes finished in the 64th percentile in strikeouts percentage, Rodon Jr. In the 41st and Schmidt in the 36th, all of which were at or slightly above average among all Major League pitchers.
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Garrett is a Cost-Effective Option For the Yankees to Entertain
Not only does Garrett, 26, provide variation, but he’d also come at a reasonable price, having earned $732,000 in his most recent one-year deal signed ahead of the 2023 campaign.
As it stands, Garrett would be the youngest and cheapest core rotational piece on the Yankees’ pitching staff. He’s worth a look from Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and would satisfy owner Hal Steinbrenner’s goal of straying away from the $300 million salary cap market.