Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Aaron Nola, Blake Snell, Sonny Gray

Despite having one of the best pitchers in the league on board, the New York Yankees witnessed a lack of pitching depth in the 2023 season. Barring Cole, who delivered a CY Young-worthy season, the rest of the rotation lacked consistency. Heading into 2024, only Cole and Carlos Rodon are expected to keep their place in the rotation owing to their contract structure. For the rest of the spots, here are some options the Bombers can consider taking a nice look at.

1. Yoshinobu Yamamoto

Yoshinobu Yamamoto
Buffaloes pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto is 7-3 with a 1.89 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 11 starts. | KYODO

Japanese wizard Yoshinobu Yamamoto is ranked second best free agent in MLB after superstar Shohei Ohtani. His numbers across the past three seasons with Orix Buffaloes seem insane. He posted a 68-29 with a 1.84 ERA and 901 strikeouts while allowing only 204 walks. Moreover, as per rumors swirling around the market, the New York Yankees have set aside as much as $200 million for Yamamoto. Brian Cashman seemed certain about his interest in the pitcher when he first scouted him in Japan earlier this year. Moreover, the Yanks, of all teams, have emerged as the preferred landing spot for Yoshinobu. Yamamoto is the key to a balanced rotation for the Yanks. They should consider taking the plunge for the pitcher, even if it costs Hal Steinbrenner a fortune.


2. Aaron Nola

Heather Khalifa / Staff Photographer

The 30-year-old starting pitcher of the Philadelphia Phillies, Aaron Nola, seems a perfect fit for the Yankees if they are looking for a cheaper alternative to Yoshinobu Yamamoto. He finished the regular season with a 12-9 record and a 4.46 ERA. The former All-Star is set to be a free agent in 2024 and can fit into the third or fourth spot of the Yankee rotation. Nola is a highly skilled and experienced arm that could bring more balance into the rotation. He is currently earning over $10 million/year with the Phillies.

3. Blake Snell

Yanks Go Yard

Blake Snell delivered a CY Young award-worthy season with the Padres in 2023. He finished the season with an impressive 2.25 ERA across 32 starts. Snell is undoubtedly an exceptional talent. If Yamamoto somehow falls out of the New York Yankees lap, Snell should remain the next best fit. The pitcher is also 30 and could come in handy behind Carlos Rodon in the rotation. Cole and Snell could together become a force to be reckoned with, much like how the Yanks anticipated Cole and Rodon’s partnership to come alive. Of course, the team will line up with lucrative for the free agent. But the franchise name should give Steinbrenner an edge over his competitors.

4. Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
| Credit: USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Co

The Yankees also have an option to potentially reunite with pitcher Sonny Gray. He served in the pinstripes in 2018, but his tenure remained shaky. However, Gray recently regained his All-Star level performance as he posted a 2.79 ERA across 32 starts for the Twins. Since leaving the Bronx, the pitcher’s ERA has been lower than 4.50, which should encourage the Yanks to opt for a reunion. Sonny can serve behind Carlos Rodon as a perfect third starter in the Yankee rotation.

Apart from this, the Yankees can also consider in-house option Drew Thorpe. He won Minor League Pitching Prospect of the Year in 2023 and has been raking the minor league for quite some time. If the prospect can continue the same form in 2024, he could see himself in the big leagues in the latter half of the upcoming season.