New York Yankees could go after Mets’ starting pitcher, Zack Wheeler

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

With the New York Yankees undoubtedly looking to add to their starting pitching rotation this offseason, multiple options present upgrades. Gerrit Cole remains the top of the totem pole and will likely be in the mix, but his $30+ million expected average salary per season might be a deterrent, but the Yankees can afford it.

However, New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler is entering the free agent pool and could be a stellar add as well. He had an impressive 2019 campaign, posting a WAR of 4.1 in just over 195 innings pitched. His 11-8 record is packed full of excellent pitching outings and terrible run production from his team. The Yankees rarely have that issue and would be a great fit for his talents.

Having already faced the bright lights of New York City, he’s a logical player for general manager Brian Cashman to consider, and his second consecutive season with a sub 4.00 ERA proves his worth. Joining a rotation of Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and J.A. Happ would give the Yanks a solid foundation with money left over to spend.

Wheeler earned a just below $6 million this season but will get paid on the open market. The Bombers might have to spend somewhere in the $15-17 range for his talents, which could be a bargain if he continues to perform well at just 29-years-old.

What makes Zack Wheeler so attractive for the New York Yankees?

Despite Wheeler’s familiarity with the bright lights of New York City and the past two years of success, another factor plays a part in the Yankees’ potential interest. His fastball. The former Met has one of the league’s most electric fastballs, blowing away hitters — a desirable attribute. That aspect alone could earn him a massive payday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cashman dropped the hammer on this tentative deal.

New York Yankees could solve starting pitching problem with top prospect

New York Yankees, Deivi Garcia

The New York Yankees elected to not rush the No. 1 pitching prospect in the minor league’s during the regular season, keeping him in the minors at just 20-years-old.

Deivi Garcia, one of the most highly touted young pitchers, is working his way into the big-leagues, and 2020 could be the year he finally reaches the mound.

General manager Brian Cashman commented on how great Garcia has looked, per NJ.com:

“For his age, to do what he’s doing,” Cashman said. “I was just looking at Baseball America last night and he’s listed as like, Double-A All-Star and I think it opened up with him being the youngest pitcher in the Eastern League. And I was like, he was probably the youngest pitcher in the International League, and if he got here, he would have been the youngest pitcher in the big leagues. It was an incredible run. But obviously he’ll go on the roster this winter and we’ll see what we got in the spring.”

The Yankees will add Garcia to the 40-man roster over the Winter and carry him into Spring Training. They will test his abilities against major league players in that scenario, allowing him to prove his value.

Garcia may be a part of the Yankees’ starting pitching rotation next season, even if they bring in a premium-level arm like Gerrit Cole over the offseason. Replacing CC Sabathia will be a priority, and whether it’s with home-grown talent like Deivi or an outside one, finding reinforcements is a priority.

What could the New York Yankees starting rotation look like next season?

With the Bombers look to add a real ace and several players returning from injury, they could have a solid starting rotation come next season. This is entirely theoretical, though:

1.) Gerrit Cole

2.) Luis Severino

3.) James Paxton

4.) Masahiro Tanaka

5.) Deivi Garcia

6.) J.A. Happ (?)

Bringing in one high-priced arm would be enough to solidify this rotation for the entire season barring injury. Severino returning to form and giving the Yankees a full-season of work would be a huge benefit. While the Yankees did manage to crawl to 103 wins during the regular season, they missed the presence of Severino and his consistency.

New York Yankees: Two premium free agent pitchers to help the Yankees in 2020

Should the New York Yankees pursue Madison Bumgarner this offseason?

The New York Yankees failed to overcome a strong Houston Astros team for one glaring reason — their starting pitching wasn’t good enough. The hitting woes undoubtedly played a part, but too many runs allowed in the first inning of games was the difference, considering Houston’s two walk-off wins.

Pitching is the most crucial part of playoff success, and the Yankees were able to use the ALCS to audition Gerrit Cole for the upcoming free agency period.

Cole, who had a perfect 0.00 ERA against the Yankees, allowed four hits in his one start. In the ALDS, he finished with a 0.57 ERA and allowed one run over two hits in two starts. The regular season was even more impressive, though, as he enjoyed a career-low ERA of 2.50. His 326 strikeouts and 20-5 record only scratch the surface on how dominant he was.

The Astros top pitcher was excellent in every facet of the game from a pitching standpoint throughout the regular season and had no problem carrying his success over into the postseason. The Yankees will pursue the ace in free agency, and Cole being a Yankee fan growing up could prove to be advantageous in their pursuit.

Will the New York Yankees be willing to splash the cash(man)?

The general concern is general manager Brian Cashman and his willingness to splash the cash on a player like Cole, who could realistically earn upwards of $25 million per season. Paying for that type of talent is necessary, especially after seeing the alternative reality occur on your team as the Yankees just did.

However, there’s another pitcher that could be of interest for the Bombers as well. Madison Bumgarner, who finished the 2019 campaign with a 3.90 ERA, the highest in his 11-year career, is still more than capable of producing quality outings.

Bumgarner’s velocity has seen a decrease in recent seasons, but his savvy veteran mentality has enabled him to find a way around it. Utilizing his curveball more frequential, Madison remains an effective pitcher than can record strikeouts. He finished the year with 203 strikeouts, on par with his top seasons between 2013-16.

While he is 30-years old and running out of gas, the Yankees might be able to secure him on a more friendly deal that would allow them to invest in other players as well. Paying him as a top-level starter won’t be necessary, but he won’t come cheap, either. He might be available in the $14-16 million range.

New York Yankees a legitimate contender to sign Gerrit Cole

New York Yankees to pursue Gerrit Cole this upcoming offseason?

The New York Yankees saw everything they needed to see from 2020 top pitching free agent Gerrit Cole in his dominant performance in game three of the ALCS.

Cole, who saw several instances of worry, managed to elevate his game to work through the Yankees batting order until he was relieved in the 8th inning. His seven strikeouts and four hits allowed were enough to keep the Yanks at zero runs until a Gleyber Torres homer in the eighth inning opened up the scoring.

The Yankees still fell 4-1 on the day, and now they will pick up where they left off on Thursday after a rainout Wednesday night. There is still plenty of time for the Bombers to make a comeback in the series, but their audition for Cole, who grew up an avid Yankees fan, proved to be well worth it.

Cole will undoubtedly garner the big bucks this offseason, and the Yankees should be at the head of the party to acquire his services. The 29-year-old is currently earning $13.5 million this season — his salary could reach $20 million per season considering his level of play and the quality he brings to any team.

The Yankees would effectively be replacing long-time pitcher CC Sabathia with Cole’s services, a massive upgrade at this point in CC’s career. The theoretical rotation would look something like this:

1.) Gerrit Cole

2.) Luis Severino

3.) James Paxton (?)

4.) J.A. Happ

Paxton, who’s on a one-year, $8.575 million deal, could be re-signed by the Bombers, who overpaid for Happ significantly. Keeping Paxton, who has been a stud during the postseason so far, makes complete sense, but the amount of money they would have to spend on Cole might make it difficult to retain him.

Does it make sense for the New York Yankees to pursue Gerrit Cole?

This answer should be simple – YES. Cole is not only one of the league’s best pitchers, but he’s young and has only breached the 4.00 ERA mark once in his seven-year career. Also, he’s never pitched in less than 17 games in any of his seven seasons, proving his health.

Staying active and healthy has been a struggle for the Yankees, especially this season, as they lost Severino for a majority of the campaign. Paying big money for a player that you can guarantee will be available every game and act as a certified “ace” is an easy decision to make.

 

New York Yankees: Aaron Boone made horrific mistakes in game three batting order

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

So let’s get this straight, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone not only kept the previously 0-for-9 Edwin Encarnacion in the cleanup spot, but he also featured Brett Gardner right in front of him at No. 3. Gardner is 2-for-9 over the last two losses to the Houston Astros and hasn’t made an impact in any significant way.

The fact is, Gardner could barely even play the field as he crashed into the outfield wall trying to make a warning-track catch. His bat was off, his ability to track fly balls was off, and yet Boone elected to stick with the veteran through thick and thin. Was this a strange sentimental start on behalf of Boone?

Alternatively, Boone could have started speed-demon Cameron Maybin in right field and featured him in the batting order, likely moving him down the list and Gleyber Torres up to the three spot. Torres was the only real threat on Tuesday night against Gerrit Cole, who blanked the Yanks over seven innings despite several concerning innings that nearly resulted in run production.

The Bombers weren’t able to claw away at the Astros and their stellar starting pitchers, though, as Severino allowed two runs early on to dig the Yankees into a hole. The offensive power the New York Yankees featured during the Twins completely turned off due to opposing pitching, but there’s still hope on the horizon.

Based on the struggles of individual players, here’s a revised New York Yankees batting order for game four:

1.) DJ LeMahieu

2.) Aaron Judge

3.) Gleyber Torres

4.) Gary Sanchez

5.) Aaron Hicks

6.) Didi Gregorius

7.) Brett Gardner

8.) Cameron Maybin

9.) Gio Urshela

First off, Edwin Encarnacion has to go — 1-for-13 is despicable, and featuring him in the lineup any longer cannot be justified. Plugging Sanchez into the cleanup spot makes logical sense considering his power, despite his struggles. Since benching him is off the table due to his catching abilities, they can move him up just to take Edwin out.

The reality is, the Yankees need to maximize their effectiveness towards the top portion of the lineup, and stacking it through with high-contact hitters makes the most sense. Generally, the Yanks were in a scoring position more frequently when the top of the batting order was at-bat. Aaron Hicks, the outlier, earned two walks on the day and showed stellar patience against Cole.

Moving him up to the fifth spot in the order gives the Yanks a switch-hitting option that can contribute with discipline behind Sanchez. Also, Brett Gardner has got to GO. His lack of contact is continuous, and his frustration/emotion has taken its toll on his confidence. Unfortunately, the Yanks simply don’t have any other options with Giancarlo Stanton nursing an injured quad.

Putting Maybin in is a necessity for game three.

New York Yankees news, 10/15 – Aaron Boone to make some changes in hitting order

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

Good Morning, New York Yankees Fans!

After a severe loss to the Astros on Sunday, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone will need to find a way to inject more offensive power into the batting order. With Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Gardner accounting for five strikeouts on the night, switching out one of those two options might be beneficial for the team.

In all likelihood, moving Gary Sanchez up the order to the No. 4 spot and replacing him with either Cameron Maybin or Aaron Hicks makes the most sense. Encarnacion hasn’t recorded a hit in two games over nine at-bats. Maybin offers great base-running and a consistent bat (as of late), and Hicks is a switch hitter than can pose a problem towards the end of the lineup against opposing pitchers.

Boone has some tough decisions to make, especially in the first home game with Luis Severino starting. If the Yankees ace can go five innings, they will be in good shape handling the rest of the game, but the offense will have fits with Astros star pitcher, Gerrit Cole, who enters the game with a 0.57 ERA over two games this postseason.

Tackling Cole and putting a few runs on the board will be difficult, but there’s a reason they saved him for the first game of the away-stretch. The Yankees, however, could take advantage of Cole’s deficiency this past season. As one of the best pitchers in baseball, Cole struggled a bit in the long ball department, allowing 29 home runs and a career-high 16.9% home run fly ball rate. He allowed ten homers more this year than in 2018, which the Yanks will undoubtedly be looking at when they build their lineup on Tuesday.

That fact alone could be the deciding factor in keeping Encarnacion in the lineup or not — utilizing his power and launch angle against Cole. Beating the Astros pitcher will come down to specific pitches and who is fortunate enough to catch one of his mistakes.

Fangraphs gives a fantastic description of this topic, which I will post below!

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

Jake Mailhot – How Did Eric Sogard Hit a Home Run Off Gerrit Cole?

Mike Axisa – Yankees vs. Astros: Giancarlo Stanton questionable for ALCS Game 3 due to quad injury

George A. King III – Reggie Jackson’s profane rant accidentally reaches Giancarlo Stanton

Tom Verducci – Inside the Surprising Pitching Change That Cost Aaron Boone and the Yankees
Alexander Wilson – New York Yankees: Aaron Boone mistake costs Yankees game 2 of ALCS

New York Yankees: The key to beating the Houston Astros in the ALCS

New York Yankees, James Paxton

Taking on the Houston Astros will be a far more difficult challenge for the New York Yankees in the ALCS. They managed to sweep the Minnesota Twins with ease in just three games, as their starting pitching stepped up to the plate and run production was as efficient as ever.

The New York Yankees need to carry their efforts in the ALCS:

The Yankees earned 23 runs over the three-game span and only allowed seven, which attest to their dominance in all facets of the game.

However, the Astros will be more difficult, especially at home. The three-person rotation of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke are incredibly intimidating. Their three starters are far better than the Yankees’ James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino.

The ultimate key for the Yankees in the ALCS is having their starters go more than four innings. Former Bronx Bomber, Alex Rodriguez, broke down why this is so important and how the starting pitching will be the difference between winning and losing for the Yankees.

“No, absolutely not,” A-Rod said. “What works in this long season, which is a marathon, and what works in seven games is another. If the Yankees average four innings a starter again, they will go home. They need 5, 5 1/3 and 6 would be ideal because you 27 outs sometimes for six or seven games.”

The Yankees will start the series on Saturday night in Houston, and they will face cranky, who got torn apart in game three of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay rays. Rodriguez called this game a goliath first goliath series. The similarities between two teams not only offers one of the more exciting showdowns in the postseason, but either side has the forces to win the World Series. It could ultimately come down to who peaks at the right time and the momentum they have going into the second round of the playoffs.

“They can both play the high-low game,” he said. “They can hit home runs or contact or situational hitting. They’re both strong analytical. They have defense. They’re both athletic. They’re both smart and they’re all students of the game.

New York Yankees will likely pursue starting pitcher Gerrit Cole in free agency

The New York Yankees could pursue Gerrit Cole this offseason.

The downfall of the New York Yankees this postseason could be their starting pitching. Fortunately, they gained back ace, Luis Severino just several weeks ago after missing a majority of the year with shoulder issues. His return will surely help the rotation and give them a much-needed boost for the playoffs. However, they have struggled this season as a unit at times.

The decision to extend J.A. Happ now seems like a bad one considering the options that were available on the market. Patrick Corbin was heavily linked to the Yankees before signing on with the Washington Nationals. He has a collective 3.05 ERA and would have led the team in overall efficiency and productivity this season.

The Yankees still managed to crawl their way to a 102-56 record despite a plethora of injuries and inconsistencies across the team.

The New York Yankees must sure up the starting rotation:

Next off-season provides an opportunity for the Yankees to shore up there starting rotation. Astros co-ace Gerrit Cole is a very intriguing option that general manager Brian Cashman will undoubtedly consider.

Cole earned $13.5 million via arbitration this season, and he owns a 19-5 record with a 2.5 to ERA in 32 starts this year for Houston. He has only walked 46 batters in 207 1/3 innings.

Adding a player of Cole’s quality to the Yankees rotation would make them one of the most feared in the league. Imagine this — Cole, Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, Happ.

While injuries will arise because that is simply what happens to the Yankees, this rotation would be feared and intimidating for any opposing team. During the 2017-18 season, the Yankees were interested in Cole and were engaged with the Pittsburgh Pirates in a potential trade, but they were unwilling to surrender third baseman Miguel Andujar in a deal. This time around, I imagine they will be more insistent on his services.