The Yankees had opportunities to land some high quality starting pitchers this offseason, including Gerrit Cole, Yu Darvish, and Shohei Ohtani – the latter went to the Angels, while Cole was traded from the Pirates to the defending world champions, and Darvish remains unsigned. However, despite missing out, the Yankees should not be too upset.
While the New York Yankees had, and still do have, several chances to beef up their starting rotation, Yankee fans need not worry about not making a big splash for a starting pitcher this offseason.
The Bombers have their starting pitchers set with a five-man rotation, several other arms on their roster that could be spot-starters, and some pitchers in the farm who are likely to be in the Bronx sooner rather than later.
Luis Severino is the new undisputed ace of the staff, finishing 2017 in third place in the American League Cy Young Voting with an ERA of 2.98 and a 1.04 WHIP. Despite struggling in the postseason, where his ERA ballooned to 5.63, he will most likely be the Opening Day starter and is a fiery arm that Yankee fans will be able to depend on for a long time. Not only is he the ace, but he is also the future leader of this staff.
The No. 2 spot in the rotation is seemingly up for grabs between Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray. Despite a very rough first half, with the way Tanaka threw in the postseason, he was the fierce competitor and the great fear he brought to batters rivaled the skills he was advertised for when he first came to New York from Japan.
Gray was a serviceable starter in pinstripes in 2017 – he had some inconsistencies, but when the Yankees needed him most in Game 4 of the ALCS, he tossed five innings of one-hit, one-run ball. He is also only four years off of a third-place Cy Young finish.
CC Sabathia is back in pinstripes and has reinvented himself as a finesse pitcher. He is getting paid $15 million less than what he made in 2017, but his production the last two seasons was much more than what it was the previous three. His ERA in 2016 and 2017 combined was 3.88, while his 4.82 ERA in 2016 raised that average significantly.
Jordan Montgomery was quietly one of the best things to happen for the Yankees last year – he went from being a longshot to making the roster to throwing 155.1 innings and racking up a 3.88 ERA. The lefty has four pitches and finished in sixth place in a stacked American League Rookie of the Year vote which also featured Andrew Benintendi and Trey Mancini.
The Yankees also have Adam Warren and Luis Cessa in their arsenal, while they are also said to expand Chad Green’s role
The Yankees had the fifth-best starting rotation ERA in the Majors last year at 3.75. In the second half, their rotation’s ERA was second in the league at 3.41, behind only Cleveland, who they eventually went on to knock out of the playoffs.
In the postseason, the team’s starters had a combined 2.98 ERA against continuously great competition, despite the final outcome.
Sure, it would have been nice to add one, or all, of the bonafide aces listed before, but don’t worry, the rotation is alright. In fact, it’s better than alright…it’s incredible.