The New York Yankees are still looking for starting pitching, but their bullpen is also weak after the departure of Tommy Kahnle this off-season. Kahnle underwent Tommy John surgery last year and wants to test free agency instead of coming back on an injury contract.
If general manager Brian Cashman didnâ€™t have any problems before, he certainly does now having to supplement multiple starters across the board. He lost three starting pitchers this off-season, a few bullpen guys, and is still trying to retain DJ LeMahieu. As the Yankees try to save money, Cashman is in a tough spot with ownership.
Nonetheless, one player they have been connected to is Pittsburgh Piratesâ€™ starting pitcher Jameson Taillon.
Taillon was injured for the 2020 season, earning just 37.1 innings of work in 2019. He is an injury-prone option that would be cheap for the Yankees to acquire but did have a fantastic 2018 campaign, pitching in 191 innings and logging a 3.20 ERA.
Cashman loves to find these under the radar options they can fill voids with. Similar to James Paxton two years ago, Jameson represents a more cost-efficient route, as the Yankees hope they can extract value from the formally injured picture. Some would say itâ€™s a classic Brian Cashman move, but I donâ€™t entirely believe it will fortify the starting rotation considering his inability to remain healthy.
The New York Yankees could go a different route:
There are other options out there, like Garrett Richards, who is another injury-prone player who pitched in just 51.1 innings this past season and only 8.2 in 2019. His last full campaign was in 2015 with the Angels, where he recorded a 3.65 ERA.
The thing about pitchers is that their injuries donâ€™t normally disappear, inflammation pops back up, and elbow problems persist. We saw this with Paxton, who missed most of the 2020 season with a forearm flexor strain. However, with the Yankees trying to save money and stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold, donâ€™t expect to see any flashy moves, especially after they acquired Gerrit Cole last off-season.
Management feels as though they have a World Series caliber team, even if their pitching is a bit problematic. When they look over at the Tampa Bay Rays and what they were able to accomplish with a quarter of the salary allocations, it must be a bit overwhelming to spend that much money and see fewer results.