Yankees fans are well aware what Plan A is: attempting to sign Masahiro Tanaka so they would only have one spot to fill in the rotation. Signing Tanaka could be the make it or break it moment of the Yankees offseason. But we have to think logically here; what if the Yankees don’t sign Tanaka? What if another team swoops in at the very last moment and makes an offer Tanaka can’t refuse? What would the Yankees do then? Well, they would have to go to Plan B. The main question is, what is Plan B?
The Yankees could…
a) Sign a pitcher from the free agent market: There are still some pitchers on the market that are readily available. The names include Bronson Arroyo, Matt Garza, Ubaldo Jimenez, Johan Santana and A.J Burnett. The last two names I listed are more of a Plan Z if Plan B doesn’t work out. I can’t really picture neither pitcher on the Yankees (or in Burnett’s case a return to New York). If the Yankees were to look within the market, I would think Bronson Arroyo would be an ideal fit should the Tanaka sweepstakes not go their way.
b) Find a pitcher within the organization: The Yankees are already going to find a fifth starter within the organization, so it could be possible that the Yankees look within their organization for a fourth starter as well. Pitchers Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Adam Warren and Vidal Nuno are all competing for the fifth starter spot and it wouldn’t be too far off to think that they could compete for the fourth starting rotation spot. Now, this could be a drastic move if the Yankees can’t sign Tanaka and don’t find anything reliable in the free agent market but the next “Plan B” I suggest might just spell out desperate.
c) Trade for a starting pitcher: To be honest, the Yankees don’t really have the pieces to trade for a starting pitcher, but there is one player that has plenty of trade value at this moment: Brett Gardner. The Yankees trading for a starting pitcher would seem pretty unlikely since Brian Cashman has stated time and time again that he sets the bar high on Gardner and that he wouldn’t trade him for just anyone. However, it’s possible that if the Yankees do trade Gardner before Spring Training arrives, that it would seem like a desperate move, and one that the Yankees could end up regretting.
The Yankees have an abundance of options for Plan B, but if the Yankees could control what happens in the near future, they would do anything in their power to make sure that Plan A is successful.