According to an anonymous MLB executive, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner will not allow his team to spend significant money.
New York Yankees fans better hope Charles Dickens’s persuasive past, present and future spirits visit Hal Steinbrenner this Christmas. That’s the only way the Bombers will receive the gift of a major free-agent pitcher.
“I don’t believe Hal Steinbrenner any longer authorizes seven years or more at the dollars it is going to take for any pitcher,” the source told Sherman.
The unnamed exec was of course referring to Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the top 2019 free-agent pitching prizes.
Cole, 29, dominated the American League in 2019, going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA. His 326 Ks, 13.8 SO/9 rate, and 185 ERA+ led the entire MLB.
— AT&T SportsNet SW (@ATTSportsNetSW) September 25, 2019
The 2019 World Series MVP, Strasburg struck out 251 batters in 209 innings. The 31-year-old went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA, his 10th-straight season with a sub-4.00 mark.
Both of those guys will ink massive contracts before the 2020 season. Cole’s could exceed $300 million and Strasburg’s might not be too far behind.
Such massive paydays are likely light years outside of the Yankees’ seemingly frugal price range. Even the third-best arm available, Zack Wheeler, is probably too expensive.
From the looks of things, Yankees fans will have to be content with New York’s current rotation, which isn’t bad.
James Paxton had a solid first year in pinstripes, one he can certainly build on. Luis Severino should be fully healthy and ready to reclaim his ace title. Masahiro Tanaka is a warrior and a small step forward from Domingo German could be scary for Yankees’ opponents.
Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga and possibly Deivi Garcia can also make positive impacts.
Even J.A. Happ might not be as bad as he was in 2019.
Steinbrenner’s cheapskate tendencies are surely frustrating for fans who long for the Yankees’ bank-busting glory days. But at least there are no gaping holes in the pitching staff.
And hey, there’s still time for a Christmas miracle.