Credit: Robert Sabo for NY Post

Michael King, who began this season as the New York Yankees’ go-to reliever, transformed into a full-time starter by the time the season concluded. In over 38 innings across eight starts, King posted a 1.88 ERA with 48 strikeouts. He had the second-lowest ERA in the AL with a minimum of 30 innings thrown.

Moreover, Aaron Boone, the skipper of the Yankees, has given his word to Michael King that he will be actively considered for a fixed rotation spot in 2024. Thus, the pitcher aims to build up his stamina to last 32 starts. However, as much as the pitcher wants to excel as a starter, an underlying health issue will keep the team on its toes.


Michael King Needs To Sustain Health To Stay In Race For Rotational Spot!

Michael King
Credit: Getty Images

Last off-season, Michael King was reeling under a fractured elbow injury, which hampered his 2022 season. However, the pitcher redeemed himself in 2023 as he stayed healthy for the entire season. Moreover, King is also now in the mix of securing a permanent rotation spot for the New York Yankees in 2024. However, the Yanks are somewhat wary of his underlying elbow issue. This season, the team initially declined King’s starter services as they wanted to avoid putting additional pressure on his injured elbow. But as the situation worsened with regards to pitching rotation, the team gave in. Surprisingly, King not only aced his new role but also kept his health in check.

Now, as the off-season kicks off, Michael King is committed to building the stamina to last 32 starts. He said that irrespective of the moves the Yankees make this off-season, he is willing to show why he is better than anyone. That’s the mindset he lives by. The pitcher was probably referring to the rumors of Bombers going aggressive in Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s pursuit. While King believes that a few additions during free agency are crucial, he will try to come out as a better option. Meanwhile, King, who is also taking a small break to get hitched, says he won’t be able to stay away for too long. At one point, the pitcher would get bored and would eventually return. That will reduce the gap and also help him regain rhythm in relatively less time.

Where Does The Yankees Stand In Yoshinobu Yamamoto’s Pursuit?

Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Brian Cashman

As much as Michael King thinks he is ready to take charge as a starter, the New York Yankees will need reinforcements regardless. The front office knows this very well by now. Thus, they are looking to adopt an aggressive approach to land Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto. According to rumors, the team has chalked up a $200 million mega contract to lure the ace.

However, the Yankees are most likely to face competition from city rivals New York Mets. Steve Cohen is also expected to go all in for not just Yoshinobu Yamamoto but also Shohei Ohtani. Regardless, the Yanks are desperate this time around and would likely go to lengths to secure Yamamoto. A $200 million contract seems tough to beat. But in baseball, never say never.