The New York Yankees are not satisfied with their current starting rotation. As of right now, they have arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball in Gerrit Cole atop the rotation. However, after him, you have four question marks that live within the rotation.
The first question mark is Carlos Rodon. Rodon pitched like an ace in 2021 and 2022 with the White Sox and Giants where he finished in the top six both years in Cy Young voting. Rodon signed a big deal to come to New York to be the co-ace with Cole, but last year was marred with injuries and poor performance. While I’m not waving the white flag there, he’s a question mark.
Then you have Marcus Stroman who the Yankees just signed to a team-friendly two-year deal with a third year option. Stroman was one of the best pitchers in the National League last year and was an All Star. He also has AL East experience, but he missed a large part of the second half of last year with injuries. Stroman also has a temperament and it’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to his first year in pinstripes.
Nestor Cortes is the next man up. Cortes was incredible in 2022 pitching to a 2.50 ERA in 28 starts. However, his season last year was filled with injuries and inconsistencies. Was his 2022 who he truly is as a pitcher or was it a fluke year? He’s another big question mark.
Then you have Clarke Schmidt who was the Yankees number one pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. In his first year as a starter, Schmidt was 9-9 with a 4.64 ERA. He was fine, but nothing to write home about. He might be better suited as a swing reliever, but as of now, he’s penciled in to finish out the rotation.
Yankees Want More
The Yankees acquired Juan Soto to start the offseason and gave everyone the impression that they were all in. Their next target was Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but they fell short in that sweepstakes when he signed with the Dodgers. New York had serious interest in Brewers’ ace Corbin Burnes. However, divisional rival Baltimore swooped in and acquired him in the last week.
The AL East winner last year got the ace the Yanks wanted in terms of trade targets. Now, New York is sitting there with some decisions to make. We know that there has been some mutual interest in two-time Cy Young award winner Blake Snell. However, due to the asking price, New York has indicated that they’ve moved on for now.
We know that they’ve had serious interest in White Sox ace Dylan Cease. However, to this point, they’ve felt like the prices are too high there and haven’t felt comfortable making the deal. Andy Martino of SNY said last night that he’s speculating that a Spring Training pitching move could be likely from New York.
At the moment, NYY is much better on paper than last year with the additions of Juan Soto and Marcus Stroman. However, you cannot even guarantee that they are the second best team in the division.
They are improved, but in possibility the only year they’ll have Juan Soto, they need to go for the throat. If they don’t, it’s a defeating message that you’re sending the fans. I think the Yankees might have one more big move left in them for the rotation. Who will it be? Time will tell.