The New York Yankees have plenty of problems to solve this off-season, ranging from the shortstop position to the starting pitching rotation. After signing Corey Kluber to one year, $11 million deal and trading for Pittsburgh Pirates starter Jameson Taillon, the Yankees are once again facing an uphill battle at a spot they seemingly solved last offseason.
To no surprise, Kluber suffered a shoulder injury mid-season, allowing him to feature in just 16 games after pitching in 33 back in 2018 with a Cleveland Indians. Without his production and presence, the Yankees struggled in the middle of the campaign, going on lengthy losing streaks to hurt their chances at the postseason.
Taillon also dealt with injury, pitching in 29 games, logging a 4.30 ERA. However, Taillon tore a tendon in his right ankle during the latter portion of the season, which he will get surgery on in the coming weeks.
Taillon is expected to miss a minimum of five months but is expected to return by Opening Day of 2022. The Yankees now have another question to answer, and it will likely involve the front office spending more money.
Current Yankees starting pitchers:
- Gerrit Cole
- Domingo German
- Jameson Taillon
- Jordan Montgomery
- Luis Severino
Some may look at this list of starters and see a reason for optimism, but the significant number of injuries theyâ€™ve dealt with over the past few seasons and inconsistencies undoubtedly present a problem.
There are free agents on the market, including Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Kevin Gausman, and a flurry of lesser options. While targeting some of the top arms would be ideal, the Yankees only have so much money to spend after extending DJ LeMahieu on a significant contract last year.
General manager Brian Cashman may have to push past the $210 million luxury tax threshold, but the Steinbrennerâ€™s feel as though theyâ€™ve invested more than enough to build a winning team.