The starting pitching rotation remained one of the most pressing issues for the New York Yankees this season. Despite putting together a sturdy lineup on paper, most of the arms did not even land on the mound initially. As a result, ace Gerrit Cole felt stranded at one end as he concluded a CY Young-worthy season.
Meanwhile, rumors have it that the Yankees are interested in acquiring Japanese ace pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Brian Cashman and his team scouted him a couple of months ago and ended the Japan trip on a happy note. This suggests that the team is likely to go aggressive in the pitcher’s pursuit. Having said that, the salary cap will remain a persistent issue, and here are three ways the Yanks can free some up salary by letting a few pitchers walk.
The only reason for the Yankees to end an eight-year-long association with starter Luis Severino is the latter’s problematic injury history. The former All-Star was once the finest right-hander among the young guys in MLB. However, he couldn’t keep his health in check, which derailed his career. Yet, the Bronx Bombers supported him through the challenges, but the 2023 season could prove the last straw. Severino finished the season prematurely with a 6.65 ERA in 89.1 innings. He will be an unrestricted free agent this coming off-season. Moreover, letting Luis walk here could save up to $12.25 million in salary, which the team can direct to accumulate Yamamoto’s contract.
The big trade bust, Frankie Montas, could meet the same fate as Luis Severino. He came off from Oakland Athletics in 2022 but barely stayed. A shoulder injury hampered his 2022 season, and the 2023 one as well since the inflammation relapsed. The pitcher eventually had to opt for surgery, which ruled him out for the season. However, Montas did register a late comeback during the final week, which is unlikely to be enough for him to secure an extension contract. Frankie Montas has had a 6.35 ERA in 39.2 innings, two seasons combined. Also, his injury history is something that should scare off the Yankees. Releasing Montas next off-season will free up a $7.5 million luxury tax salary, which is again a huge sum.
Domingo German had a rollercoaster season this year. From pitching a perfect game to ending up in an alcohol abuse treatment program, the pitcher fell from riches to rag within a matter of seconds. Having said that, barring the perfect game, German remained largely consistent throughout the season with a 4.56 ERA over 108.2 innings. Clarke Schimdt and Michael King have done a far better job than him in limited chances. While the Yankees vowed to support him with his rehab treatment, letting him back in the clubhouse is a huge mistake. German is nothing but a liability here, and letting him walk could save up to $2.6 million in arbitration. All this accumulated money could be put to form a $200 million contract for Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who seems the answer to Yank’s persistent problems.