Yankees could theoretically add 2 ace level pitchers to rotation in 2024

mlb: toronto blue jays at new york yankees, michael king
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As the New York Yankees prepare for the 2024 season, there are whispers about a significant revamp in their starting pitching roster. The probable exits of Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German are set to free up a notable budget, which can be redirected to beef up the team’s pitching arsenal.

Emerging Stars in the Lineup

Clarke Schmidt and Michael King are names that have grabbed attention. While Schmidt, having gained valuable experience in the past year, is poised for a leap in the upcoming season, it’s King’s resurgence that has truly electrified the Yankees’ camp.

King, at 28, has made an inspiring comeback post an elbow injury in 2022. Boasting a career-high of 94.2 innings pitched this season, his stats are impressive, with a 2.66 ERA, 11.50 strikeouts per nine, and a 79.1% left-on-base rate. Not to mention, in his last five appearances, he’s managed to pull off a 1.40 ERA, 0.45 FIP, and an 80% left-on-base rate over 25.2 innings. Such a performance by King not only anchors him as one of the Yankees’ top pitchers this season but also reinforces his position in the rotation for 2024.

Eyeing International Talent: Yoshinobu Yamamoto

With a potential $22.5 million in savings from Severino and Montas’ departures, the Yankees’ front office has its gaze firmly set on Japan’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman’s recent trip to Japan to witness Yamamoto’s no-hitter performance only adds weight to this speculation.

Yamamoto’s current season stats are stellar. Over 150 innings, he’s managed a 1.32 ERA, allowed only 111 hits, 22 earned runs, and just two homers. Moreover, with 148 strikeouts and a 0.913 whip, he’s showcased consistency and prowess.

Drawing parallels with Kodai Senga’s successful transition to the MLB with the Mets, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Yankees tap into the Japanese talent pool, especially considering Yamamoto’s prowess at just 25.

A Promising Yankees Rotation Ahead

Envision a 2024 rotation with Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Michael King, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Clarke Schmidt, and Nestor Cortés for the Yankees. This ensemble, at least on paper, is a formidable one and promises to bolster the Yankees’ offense.

However, for this dream rotation to come to fruition, Cashman must act swiftly, not just in securing pitchers but also in scouting for potent bats. Given their recent commitment to Aaron Judge with a nine-year deal extension and the promise to surround him with a robust roster, it’s evident that the Yankees have no plans to linger in a rebuild mode. The aim? To capitalize on Judge’s prime years without solely relying on prospects.

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