The New York Yankees have turned their attention to the starting rotation and have a pair of under-30 arms in their sights.
After trading for the reigning National League MVP, Giancarlo Stanton and trading away veteran third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell, the New York Yankees are now looking to bolster their starting rotation, according to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) December 12, 2017
Michael Fulmer, 24, is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound right-hander. One of two pitchers traded by the New York Mets to the Tigers in July 2015—the other, Luis Cessa, is already with the Yankees— his 2017 season was cut short by season-ending elbow surgery.
While he’s expected to be ready in time for spring training, there is some risk involved in acquiring him. Still, his numbers have been fantastic. The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year has gone 21-19 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 323.2 innings of work, walking just 82 batters while striking out 246.
He won’t become arbitration eligible until after the 2018 season and is under team control through 2022.
Patrick Corbin, 28, is a 6-foot-3, 210-pound southpaw with his own history of injuries. He missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and while he hasn’t yet rediscovered his pre-surgery form, he delivered a strong 2017 for Arizona. In 33 games (32 starts), he went 14-13 with a 4.03 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, striking out 178 batters over 189.2 innings. He also recorded his lowest BB/9 rate since the surgery, a respectable 2.9, indicating that his control and command may finally be back.
Where Fulmer would be a long-term addition, Corbin would be nothing more than a one-year rental, as he’s eligible for free agency after the upcoming season. As a result, he isn’t likely to cost nearly as much in prospects as Fulmer would to acquire.
It’s not all that surprising to see the Yankees looking to bolster their rotation. While they have a terrific core in Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery, they still need another arm to lean on. They lost out on Shohei Ohtani and CC Sabathia remains a free agent and, while a reunion makes a lot of sense for both sides, it’s far from guaranteed.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Yankees do next. But we can be sure that there’s another move coming. General manager Brian Cashman is certainly putting in the work to earn his salary this winter.