Yankees: Insider speculates that Spring Training addition to pitching staff

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Yankees
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the trade for Caleb Ferguson yesterday, the New York Yankees once again find themselves being linked to the pitching market. He’s the second left-handed reliever the team has acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers, however, his arsenal should provide some diversity in handedness and profile in their bullpen. It’s a different look to the power righties in their bullpen with excellent sinkers, but the team might not be done shopping for more pitching. Andy Martino of SNY speculates that the team making a trade in Spring Training for pitching could be on the table.

He reported that the Yankees engaged the Brewers in conversations for Corbin Burnes before he was dealt to the Orioles, and the team may look to pull off a final-second trade for pitching help.

Trade for a Pitcher Could be On the Table for the Yankees

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees
May 3, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) pitches against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees recently pulled off a trade for left-handed reliever Caleb Ferguson, and that will likely conclude any big additions for their bullpen, but they could use more starting depth. It seems as if the rotation is set barring any opportunities becoming available, but the pitching market has proved to be impossible to navigate for most teams in the league. Pitchers such as Shane Bieber and Jesus Luzardo have been on the Yankees’ radar in recent weeks, but their signing of Marcus Stroman may have paused active pursuits for pitching.

Interestingly enough, Andy Martino mentioned that the Yankees weren’t completely satisfied with their pitching additions, and with the remaining free agents including both Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, options still remain on the table. A roadblock for the Yankees is their payroll, as it has already climbed over $300 million, and without any changes, it would be the highest payroll in the history of the franchise. Regardless of who the Yankees pursue, they’ll have to either clear payroll or foot an even larger bill in order to make a notable addition.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees
Sep 22, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luke Weaver (30) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It’s also possible that the team looks for an emergency starter, similar to a pitcher like Luke Weaver who they signed to a one-year $2 million contract in January. The rotation has upside, there’s a world where Carlos Rodon is able to pitch like an ace once more and Marcus Stroman pitches more like a two-starter, but there’s also plenty of risk. Gerrit Cole and Clarke Schmidt are the only two starters in the Yankees’ projected rotation who made at least 30 starts last season. Injuries will remain the team’s biggest question on both sides of the ball, and some insurance could go a long way.

One could argue that their farm system could provide some depth, as names like Will Warren have risen through the Minor Leagues. Warren is a sinker-sweeper pitcher with an improving arsenal that also includes a four-seamer, cutter, and changeup, and he’s impressed plenty of people in the organization. He has high hopes for 2024 and is looking to compete for a Major League job this year, and I’d expect the Yankees to take a serious look at him during Spring Training.

However the Yankees choose to address their pitching staff, it’s clear that they’ll keep a watchful eye on their rotation and bullpen. Between now and the Trade Deadline, it would be stunning if the team didn’t make any additions to their pitching staff, and we will see some new faces take the mound before the season’s end.