Saturday, March 12, 2016

It May Time to Step Up or Ship Out in Yankees Rotation

The heading and title of the article may sound harsher than I wanted it to be but the fact remains the same, judgement day is coming soon for the New York Yankees and specifically in their starting rotation. The team is in the middle of a transitional phase where the aging and expensive veterans see their contracts run out while the budding and thriving prospects of the system salivate and wait impatiently at their chance to make the big leagues. While there is going to be a ton of turnover you would think in the lineup, most notably with Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez all with two-or-less years left on their contracts, free agency may hit the Yankees the hardest in the coming years in the starting pitching department.

Looking at the Yankees rotation as it stands today the team is built for the long haul with a lot of youth and upside but things may not be as good as they seem on paper. Masahiro Tanaka is the ace of the staff at just 27 years but he faces a potential opt-out decision after the 2017 season that could leave him a free agency and leave a huge gaping hole at the top of the Yankees rotation. Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda anchor the middle of the Yankees staff at 26-years old and 27-years old respectively but both pitchers have just two years left of team control also potentially putting them on the free agent market after the 2017 season. Ivan Nova has one year remaining on his contract, the 2016 season, as the 29-year old looks to come all the way back from Tommy John surgery while health and CC Sabathia’s willpower will decide if 2016, 2017 or beyond are his final years in pinstripes.

CC has a clause in his contract that triggers if he does not land on the DL with left shoulder issues this season. Theoretically Sabathia’s knee could fall off tomorrow and his contract for the 2017 season, a hefty one at that just as an FYI, would automatically trigger. Sabathia will likely be a Yankee through the 2017 season as well leaving four potential Yankees starters out there on the free agent market all in the winter before 2018. Thank goodness for Luis Severino and James Kaprielian, no?

So it may be put up or shut up time for the Yankees and these pitchers. You always hear about a “window” to win with the current team, well that window may close in two more seasons. If these pitchers pitch well then you would think the Yankees would re-sign them and keep their core together for a long time but if not…. It may be judgement day in the Bronx and the Bronx may be burning once again. Just my speculation though as a lot can happen between then and now. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)