The New York Yankees had a shaky pitching department from the very beginning. They tried to land a couple of top starting pitchers in free agency since the 2023 season was over. But they have yet to be successful in that regard. Initially, the fans were full of excitement that the NY side was going to sign the biggest international free agent coming from Japan. Yoshinobu Yamamoto did pretty well in the World Baseball Classic as well. The Bronx Bombers offered him a pretty good deal of $300 million over ten years. But that was not good enough, as the Los Angeles Dodgers finally signed the Japanese sensation for $325 million over 12 years.

He could have been a great partner in crime with Gerrit Cole, who won the American League Cy Young Award last year. Yamamoto has won the Sawamura Award (equivalent to Cy Young) multiple times in Nippon Professional Baseball. But the Yankees could not seal the deal. Lately, the NY side has been the favorite to sign Blake Snell, who’s the top starter available in free agency. However, the team is taking forever to seal that deal as well. Now, the Yankees face a situation they have always been afraid of. Gerrit Cole will likely miss a couple of months in the 2024 regular season. He was their one and only ace pitcher. Now, who will take his place? It won’t be easy to replace an ace pitcher of Cole’s caliber. 


What Can The Yankees Do Without The AL 2023 Cy Young Winner?

Gerrit Cole Yankees
Gerrit Cole Yankees Source: CBS Sports

Gerrit Cole is arguably the best-starting pitcher in baseball. He may not have multiple Cy Young Awards yet. Nevertheless, Cole has been the biggest strength of the Yankees defense. Lately, in the spring training, Cole expressed his discomfort over his right elbow. Hence, the team sent him for an MRI. It is still not clear if he will need to undergo Tommy John surgery. But there is a good possibility that he will miss the Opening Day. Some sources close to the NY organization told The Athletic that Cole might even miss a month or two. Hence, the pressure on the Yankees’ pitching department increases a lot more.

Without the AL 2023 Cy Young winner, Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, and Clarke Schmidt are the starting pitchers. Perhaps Rodon and Stroman are the likely choice to replace Cole. The Yankees have a $300 million payroll which makes their options really narrow. However, the team might have insured Cole’s contract as per industry sources. Moreover, ESPN suggests that the Yankees will receive some economic relief depending on how long Cole stays out. It might help them in their offset costs more than their luxury taxes. 

Brian Cashman Can Start Looking At The Free Agents Again

Brian Cashman Yankees
Brian Cashman Yankees Source: MLB.com

The Yankees have taken a lot of time to land an ace pitcher. They have signed Marcus Stroman to a two-year deal worth $37 million. However, the Bronx Bombers have been looking for a much more dependable pitcher who would fit perfectly alongside Gerrit Cole.

Due to their payroll and luxury taxes issue, the Yankees are not able to go beyond a certain asking price. Blake Snell had a pretty high asking price. But then, the NY side can still choose from other options like Jordan Montgomery, Shane Bieber, and Dylan Cease. Whatever they do, they must hurry up as the Opening Day is only a couple of weeks away.

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