After a stellar first outing Toros del Este, he backed it up with another impressive performance, allowing one run and three hits over five innings over Leones del Escogido at Juan Marichal Stadium in Santo Domingo, D.R.
German is awaiting approval from Yankees managing partner Hal Steinbrenner, as a domestic abuse issue put his availability for the future in question. Justifiably, German was expected to take classes to further understand why his actions were inexcusable. The Steinbrenner family has still yet to decide whether they will permit German’s return or not, but he certainly has looked good in his two recent outings in the DR.
Ultimately, it is an ethics issue and nothing more. How good or bad he performs during this winter league scenario is irrelevant. Nonetheless, looking back at his statistics from 2019, German finish the season with a 4.03 ERA, 38.1% ground ball rate, and 9.63 strikeouts per nine innings. He was dominant in his first full season with the Bombers, showing what he can be a staple in the rotation for years to come, but now his place in the MLB is in question.
If the Yankees do agree to allow his return, German will undoubtedly slide right into the rotation. He will likely start at the back end, working his way up as he regains his form at the major-league level. He is now more than a year removed for pitching in the league but hasn’t seemed to lose a step against lesser talent.
So the question is, can German be the answer behind Cole? Personally, I believe there’s a better chance Luis Severino fills that role, but German can be a fantastic third option for the Yankees.
Alternatively, they could go the route of giving up significant value for Blake Snell, who the Tampa Bay Rays are listening to offers for. Snell finished the most recent campaign with a 3.24 ERA and near 50% ground ball rate.
Based on his statistics, he is the perfect pitcher for Yankee Stadium with a short right porch. He causes significant ground balls and strikes out 11.34 batters per nine. He allowed just 10 home runs over 50 innings this past season.
In 2019, he only allowed 14 homers over 107 innings. If the Yankees were willing to offer ample capital for his services, he would undoubtedly be the perfect match behind Cole. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Yankees are willing to give up as much as the Rays likely want.
Nonetheless, Blake is on a fantastic contract, being owed just $11.1 million next season and reaching a high of $16.6 million in 2023. Masahiro Tanaka earned $23 million last year, justifying how great this deal is over the next few years.