The New York Yankees have a lot of concerns heading into the winter and thick of the MLB offseason, but finding another reliable starting pitcher might be the biggest one. The Yankees have already made small moves to acquire outfielder Aaron Hicks and now the real business stars as New York has doubt in their rotation for next year. According to general manager Brian Cashman, the Yankees will not break the bank, but will get help.
Cashman is making it clear that he has no plans of being the Boston Red Sox and paying $30 million a year for a pitcher. The Yankees have several big contracts coming off the books in the coming year and until then they do not want to blow up their pay roll with another huge deal. However, they need pitching help. Masahiro Tanaka is coming off elbow surgery. Nathan Eovaldi is coming off an injury. CC Sabathia just finished his worst season in the major leagues. Michael Pineda struggled with consistency. Ivan Nova struggled coming off Tommy John surgery. Cashman wants to make improvements, but not ones that are going to cost too much money.
"We'll enter December the same way we entered November," said Cashman via ESPN.com. "Our team is fairly set, but we're open to exploring any and all trade opportunities. If we can improve our team, we'll do it. If we can't, we won't."
The Yankees have already denied one trade deals. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Yankees declined to offer Luis Severino in exchange for Shelby Miller of the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees could still be interested in Miller, but will offer a different package. According to Wallace Matthews of ESPN.com, the Yankees are more inclined to offer a deal that includes Nova and Brett Gardner which will not win them Miller. Bryant Michell could interest Atlanta, but not a veteran pitcher and high-priced outfielder.
Finding cost-effective ways to improve the roster will not be easy. The pitching market is already inflated. Even pitchers like Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto will break the bank. The Yankees already have $180 million committed to 11 players in 2016. Unless the team is planning marquee trades of players like Mark Teixeira or Sabathia, they cannot afford the top-named players and must look elsewhere. That could mean looking at a trade of Starlin Castro for infield help or cheaper contracts for players like Wei-Yin Chen or Chris Davis. They might not be splashy, but they can get the job done for the Yankees.