The Yankees may have inked Marcus Stroman to a two-year, $37 million deal, but the rotation is still full of question marks and liabilities.
Ultimately, they are relying on Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes to bounce back from injury-riddled seasons. Rodon suffered a chronic back injury, a left forearm strain, and a hamstring injury, with Cortes battling a left rotator cuff strain that ultimately shut him down prematurely.
The Yankees need to add another surefire piece to their rotation, and while Clarke Schmidt is expected to take a step forward and Gerrit Cole is coming off an AL Cy Young award-winning season, they’re certainly putting it all on red and hoping for the best.
With that being said, the expectation is that Scott Boras will not reduce Blake Snell’s price tag and the Yankees aren’t willing to bend the knee to a lucrative deal for a 30-year-old pitcher who is bound to regress.
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The Yankees are Still Interested in the Trade Market
In addition, the Yankees have “balked” at the idea of Dylan Cease and Corbin Burnes, due to their price tags, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Cease would likely be the more probably move if the Yankees are willing to trade some top prospects, given he’s 28 years old and has two more years left of control.
Burnes is heading into the final year of arbitration and will be a free agent next season, so Cashman may be able to wait until the trade deadline over the summer to make a move at a far cheaper price.
Landing Cease would likely start with one of their marquee prospects, whether it be Spencer Jones or Chase Hampton. However, Cease has pitched a minimum of 165 innings over the past three consecutive years, including 177 innings this past season, showcasing durability.
This is the type of player the Bombers ultimately need, someone they know will show up every day and perform at the very least. Cease is coming off of a down season with a 4.58 ERA, likely a result of the pitch clock and having to speed up his process. However, we can’t forget his 2.20 ERA over 184 innings in 2022, putting together a Cy Young-level season.
With that being said, the Yankees may try to survive the first half of the year until the trade deadline with their current rotation, allowing their target price tags to reduce and only make a move if necessary.
Prospect Will Warren is expected to make the transition and they still have Luis Gil working his way back into the mix, who could be a spot starter. It is safe to say that the Yankees need more support among the starting group, but with their offensive firepower, which is supported by the additions of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, they can likely survive until after the All-Star break, but it is becoming evident that missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto had a significant impact on the team’s willingness to spend on other free agents.