Starting pitching was the Yankees biggest problem in 2016. Would Tyson Ross or Jason Hammel be the better fit?The New York Yankees had their fair share of problems in 2016 but arguably the biggest one has been the starting rotation.
The current locks for the rotation are Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda. Outside of those three, the rotation is filled with uncertainty.
One solution could be going in-house with either Luis Cessa, Luis Severino or Chad Green and possibly Chance Adams later in the year.
New York most likely would try and fill one spot in house choosing from one of the three listed. For the final spot, the Yankees could look to the free-agent market.
The free agency market was very bland to begin with and with most of the big names signed it is even more limited. The two names that caught my eye the most (Brian Cashman’s also) are Tyson Ross and Jason Hammel. Let’s start with Ross.
Ross is 29 he will turn 30 in April. Ross started out mostly as a reliever and a spot starter with the Oakland Athletics and was traded to the San Diego Padres where he began starting full time. 2014 was his best year when he posted a 13-14 record with a 2.81 ERA and his lone All-Star appearance.
Ross came back in 2015 and had another impressive season going 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA.
The win/loss record doesn’t concern me with the Padres most likely not giving him very much run support. His 2016 season was cut short early due to thoracic outlet syndrome which also affected New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. He was non-tendered by the Padres in early December.
The biggest concern with Ross is obviously the injury to his shoulder which had to be repaired. This injury has derailed many pitchers careers and Ross could become just another statistic. On the other
On the other hand, he could come back and be able to repeat his 2014 and 2015 seasons. Ross is a high risk, high reward option and for a two-year 15 million dollar deal, I don’t see a problem with it for the Yankees.
Another option is Jason Hammel, a 34 righty that will turn 35 in September.
In 2016, Hammel posted a 15-10 record with a 3.83 ERA in 2016 with the World Series Champs Chicago Cubs. Hammel’s best season was 2014 where he posted a 10-11 record with a 3.47 ERA. His numbers aren’t as impressive as Ross’ but he is a solid #5 starter and is a workhorse in the rotation.
Something else to note with Hammel is that he surrendered 25 home runs in 2016 at Wrigley Field which would not suit well for Yankees stadium. He would only require a 1-year deal for somewhere between $8-12 million.
The best option for the Yankees is Ross but the Yankees top choice is most likely Hammel thanks to the lower cost he packs.
Sure, New York’s offseason seems indolent at this moment and nothing appears to be imminent, but if the asking price is right, don’t you think Cashman would jump to fix his team’s biggest hole?