If you watched the MLB playoffs in 2020, it was evident that the New York Yankees need extra starting pitching depth. They lost Luis Severino to Tommy John surgery and Domingo German to suspension before the campaign started, and James Paxton shortly after. Masahiro Tanaka lost a couple starts after he was hit in the head by a comebacker.
Now, Paxton, Tanaka and J.A. Happ are free agents, and Severino won’t start the 2021 season healthy as he’s still rehabbing from the surgery. The New York Yankees have Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, German, and Deivi Garcia as MLB-ready starters, but not much more behind that group.
That’s why the Yankees have been connected to virtually every major starting pitcher available in free agency. One of them is obviously Trevor Bauer, but he may be too expensive for the Bombers’ payroll plans.
Another top-tier option, and one that shouldn’t be as expensive as Bauer, is Charlie Morton. The former Houston Astro and Tampa Bay Ray had a supbar regular season in 2020, with a 4.74 ERA in nine starts and 38.0 innings.
However, he had a much more decent 3.45 FIP and was as dominant as ever (9.95 K/9, 2.37 BB/9.)
In the playoffs, though, he was vintage Morton: in 20.0 total frames, he had a 2.70 ERA and a 2.59 FIP, with 10.35 K/9 and a 2.25 BB/9.
The Yankees could use a pitcher like Morton, but there will be competition
According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, Morton is drawing “some level of interest” from “at least” 8-10 teams. So, it would appear that the Yankees will have some strong competition if they want to secure his services.
Morton had previously said that he was considering retirement, but he recently said to his agent that he intends to play at least one more season.
Morton presumably wants to return to Tampa. According to Feinsand, the Rays “appears to be Morton’s first choice,” but he also wrote that the World Series runners-up are “unlikely to offer more than $10 million” to the soon-to-be 37-year-old.