The New York Yankees entered the offseason with a huge need for offensive help, left-handed hitters and outfielders. It’s fair to say they aggressively attacked those needs via the trade market and brought in Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo, and Trent Grisham. The first of the trio is one of MLB’s finest hitters, with a career .946 OPS and multiple individual accolades, while the other two are solid, league-average players with a good glove.
To welcome Soto, Verdugo, and Grisham to the roster, however, the Yankees had to use a lot of their organizational starting pitching depth. They dealt, in total, a catcher (Kyle Higashioka), a reliever (Greg Weissert), and six starting pitchers: Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Nicholas Justice, Richard Fitts, Randy Vázquez, and Jhony Brito. The latter could qualify as a bullpen arm, but still, that’s a lot of depth at all levels.
Now that the situation in the outfield has been solved, the Yankees should turn their focus to the rotation. Right now, the unit has Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, and Clarke Schmidt. The rest of the staff and the depth behind it are question marks.
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The Yankees Need to Add Multiple Pitchers
Right now, Clayton Beeter would probably be the Yankees’ fifth starter, although Will Warren, Yoendrys Gomez, Luis Gil, and Chase Hampton could also be in play. It’s clear, however, that the team needs to add one or two arms via trades or free agency.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto and the Yankees will meet in the United States on Monday. He is perhaps the organization’s prime target at this point, but the bidding could approach $300 million. He is well worth a top contract, with three straight Pacific League MVP awards and Eiji Sawamura awards in Japan and a 1.21 ERA in 164 innings this season with the Orix Buffaloes.
If the Yanks can’t get Yamamoto (and even if they can), they could also consider bringing back Frankie Montas on a short-term deal. He should enter spring training with no restrictions whatsoever on his shoulder, but it is always a risk.
Other options for the rotation are Shota Imanaga, Blake Snell, Marcus Stroman, and, of course, Jordan Montgomery. Cheap lottery tickets include Alex Wood, Jack Flaherty, Eric Lauer, Jake Odorizzi, Spencer Turnbull, and several others. There are plenty of names available, so the Yankees have to make a move… or three.