The New York Yankees are preparing for a very active offseason this year. Granted, their activity might be hindered in the short-term based on the lockout that could occur, but nevertheless, the Yankees know they have to make some upgrades and plan on doing so.
One of the most obvious areas for upgrades would be the starting rotation. Right now, there are once again a lot of question marks surrounding the Bombers rotation. Of course, you have Gerrit Cole who will be starting game one next season.
Behind him, Jordan Montgomery and Luis Severino figure to have spots in the rotation. Severino hasn’t started a game in a couple of years, but he did return and looked solid out of the bullpen in 2021. The Yankees are planning on slotting him back into the rotation.
Jameson Taillon will be a part of the rotation at some point, however, offseason ankle surgery will prevent him from starting the season. After that, you have options like Nestor Cortes, Domingo German, and Clarke Schmidt among others.
With the lack of certainty, the Yankees are already looking into the starting pitching market. The first guy they’ve looked at so far this offseason is someone that fans should be very familiar with. That pitcher would be former Cy Young award winner Justin Verlander.
Yankees in on Verlander?
This week, Justin Verlander had a bullpen session that was scouted by many teams in baseball. The Blue Jays and Mets were among the teams that sent scouts to watch Verlander who was apparently touching 95-96 MPH on his fastball.
The Yankees were also among the teams that sent out scouts to watch Verlander per Joel Sherman. The Yanks did this last year with Corey Kluber and they ended up signing Kluber to a one-year deal. While Kluber had moments, including a no-hitter, injuries plagued his time in pinstripes.
Verlander was shut down and was forced to get Tommy John surgery after one start in 2020. In that one start, Verlander got the win by going six innings and giving up two runs. Verlander also missed all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John.
His last full season came back in 2019 and he was sensational. Verlander edged Gerrit Cole for the Cy Young by going 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and a historic WHIP of .803 while assisting in leading Houston to the World Series which included defeating the Yankees. The prior year, Verlander finished second in the Cy Young voting.
Verlander has stated that he’s ready to go and he’s actually said that he wants to pitch until he’s 45 years old. The former Cy Young winner will be 39 years old by the time of Opening Day next season. Despite missing the last two seasons, the Astros made Verlander a qualifying offer.
If the Yankees were to sign Verlander, they would have to give up draft compensation to Houston. At this moment, there’s no indication on how serious the interest is from New York. However, it is a very Brian Cashman-like signing. This isn’t Corey Kluber btw, I think if Verlander were to sign with New York, he would make a much bigger impact.