The New York Yankees are primed for a deep run into October, and they may try to make a significant addition to their starting rotation before that happens.
After going through what felt like the shortest rebuild in history, they were one win away from reaching the World Series last year.
Fast-forward to 2018, and it’s even better — they entered Thursday’s action with baseball’s best record, a bunch of young impact players at the big-league level in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar (among many others), and still have a loaded farm system to draw upon for any number of needs.
One of those needs will likely be adding another starting pitcher to their staff. Jordan Montgomery opened the year as New York’s fifth starter, but he was recently lost for the year due to undergoing Tommy John surgery. Combine that with the uneven performances form Masahiro Tanaka and Sonny Gray, and first-year manager Aaron Boone would surely welcome another impact hurler with open arms.
Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ managing partner, made some comments about this need earlier in the week. Not only did he say that starting pitching is a concern and an area they’ll be exploring to improve, he mentioned there shouldn’t be a problem from a financial perspective, either (via ESPN):
“Purposely left a decent amount of money for just this…If we decide to go get a pitcher and if a pitcher’s available, I think we definitely have the flexibility that would allow me to do just that.”
Well, of course they have the money to do that, they’re the Yankees!
That’s true, but their goal has been to get under the luxury tax for quite a while now. Spotrac tabs the Yankees’ payroll at a smidge over $174 million, giving them plenty of wiggle room up to their self-imposed limit of $197 million.
Jacob deGrom has been a hot name in the rumor mill recently, but that’s probably not going to happen. Other names that have been connected to the Bronx Bombers include Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner, and Chris Archer. Outside of Hamels, those players won’t come cheap.
There is some depth available within the organization, with Domingo German being the most notable one currently in the big leagues. But if we’re talking about October, which the Yankees clearly are at this point in the year, it’s likely they desire having another dependable, top-tier pitcher available.
Based on their current situation, they’re in the perfect position to eventually make that wish a reality.