Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman already has five players filling out the starting rotation, but they may be one of the more liability-ridden units in the league.
Betting on several players to bounce back from injury and the development of Clarke Schmidt certainly doesn’t breed optimism. Still, the Yankees have a strategy long-term they can implement if things head in the wrong direction.
At the moment, it doesn’t seem as though Cashman is willing to spend big on Montgomery or Blake Snell, and the trade market is drying up with asking prices a bit too lofty for his liking. In fact, the Yankees were sniffing around about Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox, but it seems as though he is off the market for the time being unless a team is willing to reach their asking price.
The Yankees Shouldn’t Overspend Out of Desperation
Chicago has no reason to move prematurely since he still has two years left of team control and is only earning $8 million for the 2024 season.
At 28 years old, the right-handed pitcher is coming off of a down year in 2023, hosting a 4.58 ERA across 177 innings. However, he’s tossed a minimum of 165 innings over the past three consecutive seasons and had a Cy Young-caliber campaign in 2022 with a 2.20 ERA over 184 innings.
The Yankees and any other team looking to acquire Cease certainly know his worth. The White Sox want at least one top-10 prospect in return, if not both Spencer Jones and Chase Hampton, in exchange for Cease. They can easily wait until the deadline when a team, like the Yankees, is trying to make a World Series run, maintain their asking price, and potentially get what they’re asking for.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, several executives have indicated that the White Sox will keep Cease into the regular season, waiting for an opportunity to sell him at a high value. If he’s in the middle of a great year and the Yankees desperately need starting pitching support, it is possible they make a move, but the alternative is the Bombers have a healthy rotation performing above expectation, which would quell any need and potentially overspending.
Cashman has already traded seven pitchers in exchange for Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo this off-season, so parting ways with more prospect capital would be difficult to stomach. Spending money would be the easiest solution, but locking in another arm over 30 years old could be problematic.
Instead, waiting until next off-season to make a run at a star like Corbin Burnes or Zack Wheeler may be a more efficient move. Spending just to spend is never a good strategy, and the Yankees have learned that over and over again in the past decade.
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