It is no secret that the New York Yankees need more depth in their starting pitching rotation, however, I wouldn’t except any aggressive moves by GM Brian Cashman in the coming days.
As fans quickly become restless over the Yankees’ lack of moves this off-season, it is important to note that due to COVID-19, the market is slow developing. Players are waiting as long as possible to ensure they don’t make pennies on the dollar. Ultimately, the players who sign too quickly could lose out on real market value as teams recover from the financial disaster of 2020.
Nonetheless, the Bombers have been making minor-league deals left and right, adding depth to various positions as they prepare for the 2021 season. Ownership is against overspending this off-season, and they have given Cashman the green light to pursue DJ LeMahieu, and not much more. A big starting pitcher will likely have to wait another year, as the Yankees continue to roll with Gerrit Cole and hope to gain back Luis Severino and Domingo German in 2021.
The New York Yankees did ink one struggling veteran arm:
Cashman landed Jhoulys Chacin on a one-year deal worth 800K and an additional 200K in incentives. It will be difficult for him to crack the starting rotation, especially after several inadequate seasons. In 2019, he logged 103.1 innings, recording a 6.01 ERA and 8.80 strikeouts per nine.
Jhoulys Chacin Yankees deal: $800K guaranteed plus $200K in incentives. Outside chance Rep 1 agency has 4 in Yankees rotation: Luis Severino, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia and Chacin. Yankees are still looking for another proven starter for the rotation led by Gerrit Cole.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 8, 2021
That was really his last larger sample size of work, as he only pitched in five innings this past year with the Atlanta Braves. However, in 2018 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Chacin logged a 3.50 ERA with a 42.2% ground-ball rate and 7.29 strikeouts per nine. It seems as if he’s had quality seasons in the past but simply hasn’t been consistent. Cashman is looking for cost-efficient deals that he can maximize, so Chacin could turn out to be a nice find if they need him for any given reason.
Chacin primarily utilizes a fastball, and slider, throwing in a bit of change up and offspeed pitches. To be specific, in 2019, he threw his fastball 43.7% and slide or 49.6% of the time.
He doesn’t have a high-velocity arm, averaging about 90 mph on his fastball. Ultimately, this isn’t a luxurious signing but rather a last-choice option for the Yankees, who once again are moving forward with a limited amount of financial flexibility.