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Yankees Still Looking To Add Starting Pitching

Yankees Still Looking To Add Starting Pitching

The Yankees were frequently connected to Blake Snell while he was a free agent, but the lefty reportedly agreed to a two-year, $62MM deal with the Giants last night. Though Snell is off the board, the Yanks are still in the market for starting pitching, per Jon Heyman of The New York Post.

It’s understandable that the Yanks are still on the hunt for arms. They were often connected to Snell even before the recent news that ace Gerrit Cole is going to miss significant time due nerve inflammation and edema in his elbow.

Though the desire to add Snell seemed to be real, it appeared that the competitive balance tax was too much of an obstacle. The Yankees are set to be third-time payors of the tax and are already over the fourth and final threshold, meaning they face a 110% tax on any further spending. Snell didn’t find the long-term deal he was looking for, reportedly turning down a six-year, $150MM offer from the Yanks, and pivoted to a short-term pact with a high average annual value. Had the Yankees matched the $31MM AAV Snell got from the Giants, they would have had to pay $34.1MM in taxes as well.

That concern seemingly had them leaning towards a trade for Dylan Cease, since he’s still in his arbitration years and making just $8MM this year. But the Yanks missed out there as well, with Cease eventually getting shipped from the White Sox to the Padres. Heyman adds that they haven’t made much traction with other trade targets, such as Jesus Lúzardo of the Marlins.

But the need for reinforcements is apparent when looking at the rotation without Cole. Nestor Cortes went on the injured list due to a rotator cuff strain on two occasions last year and finished the season with a 4.97 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. Carlos Rodón dealt with a forearm strain and hamstring strain and posted a 6.85 ERA in his 64 1/3 innings. Marcus Stroman had a great first half but issues with his hip and rib cartilage pushed his ERA up to 3.95 by the end of the year.

Those three have each had much better results in the past but they are sort of wild cards now after their frustrating campaigns. Backing them up will be Clarke Schmidt, who had a 4.64 ERA last year. There would still be one spot open, with pitchers like Luke Weaver, Luis Gil, Clayton Beeter and Will Warren potential options. Weaver has finished three of the last four seasons with an ERA of 6.40 or higher. Gil underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2022 and missed most of the last two years. Neither Beeter nor…

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