Yankees rotation may not be complete yet

Why the Yankees’ rotation may not be complete just yet

The dawn of Spring Training has brought with it a sense of anticipation and possibility, particularly for the Yankees. Despite an offseason of significant acquisitions, General Manager Brian Cashman's recent statements suggest that the team may not be finished tinkering with their roster, particularly when it comes to their rotation.

Is the Yankees’ rotation healthy?

While the Yankees didn't land the coveted Japanese superstar Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they promptly signed free agent RHP Marcus Stroman. Stroman joins a rotation led by the team's ace and 2023 AL CY Young winner Gerrit Cole, alongside Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortés Jr., and Clarke Schmidt. However, uncertainty looms over Rodón and Cortés following their inconsistent performances in the 2023 season.

Adding to the uncertainty surrounding Cortés Jr.'s health, Greg Joyce of the New York Post tweeted on Friday that the left-hander "decided to relocate his workouts to Tampa in mid-December due to ongoing issues with his shoulder."

This news comes just a day after the Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman told reporters the club is not “pencils down by any means.”

Addressing the elephant in the room

Reporters in the room didn’t waste any time addressing the elephant in the room: two of the league’s top starters, 2023 NL CY Young Blake Snell and the World Series ace and former Yankee Jordan Montgomery remain on the free agency market. Although Cashman sidestepped the question, he reiterated that his communication lines are always open.

“I don’t have ‘block’ on my call sheet for any agents,” the GM remarked. “If they want to call, I’m happy to do so and to listen to what’s available as well as continue our dialogues with opposing general managers. But we do like what we have here at the same time. But it’s a long season. So, we know that, and we’re certainly not going to assume what we have now is going to be enough. That's why the job is to always be open."

Hitting alone won’t land us in a confetti-filled Broadway

Remarkably, the Yankees were able to secure one of the league’s best hitters this offseason in a trade to acquire Juan Soto from the Padres, as well as Alex Verdugo from the Red Sox, but the Yankees know that the lineup alone isn’t sufficient for the long haul.

“I guess it’s always pitching,” Brian Cashman said. “That’s the most important part. You can score as much as you want, but the pitching is always the key to the kingdom.”

The Yankees are clearly aware of the importance of a strong rotation and GM Brian Cashman's willingness to keep his options open underscores the club’s commitment to fielding a Championship-caliber team with a story that ends in a confetti-filled Broadway.

Jonna M. Perlinger