Yankees don’t need to spend money for starting pitching


This morning, Max Scherzer shocked Major League Baseball when he signed a seven-year, $210 Million (half-deferred) deal with the Washington Nationals, ending the Scherzer in Yankee pinstripes pipe dream. Truth be told: the Yankees were never in the Max Scherzer sweepstakes to begin with. Scherzer’s price from the beginning was just over $200 Million and the Yankees decided to spend their money more economically. Spending almost $500 Million and missing the playoffs last year forced Brian Cashman to take a different approach this year and in a way, the Yankees have done a good job not spending like the old Yankees.

Here’s what their starting rotation looked like before the offseason began:

LHP CC Sabathia (??)
RHP Michael Pineda (??)
RHP Masahiro Tanaka (??)

As you  can tell with the rotation above, there’s plenty of uncertainty. Masahiro Tanaka’s elbow has a tear, CC Sabathia is coming off knee surgery and Michael Pineda has been known to have injury issues in the past. Now you may be wondering why there are two blank spaces under Tanaka’s name: despite Ivan Nova  being on the roster and technically in the rotation, he isn’t expected to pitch for the Yankees until June or July at the earliest. Meanwhile, Hiroki Kuroda went to pitch his final year in Japan and Brandon McCarthy signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

So how did the Yankees fill the two holes in the rotation? They signed veteran Chris Capuano to a one-year deal and traded Martin Prado and David Phelps for Nathan Eovaldi. As with all trades the two pitchers come with risks; Eovaldi has shown promise but hasn’t tapped into his potential and Capuano is an older pitcher while the Yankees aim to become younger. But the both of them provide some depth and insurance should Sabathia, Pineda or Tanaka go down.

Now, I believe the Yankees should once again venture on the market and sign or trade for another pitcher, but I don’t think it should be a big name starter such as James Shields. If you look at the big picture, the Yankees have been productive this offseason. They’ve filled most of their holes by making small deals (trading for Didi Gregorius, signing Chase Headley, trading for Garrett Jones etc.) and didn’t succumb to making outlandish deals. With a month to go until Spring Training, the Yankees should make one last economical deal to add rotation depth.

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25 Responses to Yankees don’t need to spend money for starting pitching

  1. Terry says:

    We definitely weren't going 210 million.The deferred portion of this contract interests me,also what exactly counts toward their cap room.Anyone out there got those specifics?

    • It's the average annual value of the contract which, no matter how it is structured, is essentially a seven-year, $210 million deal. So he is a $30 million a year hit for luxury tax purposes.

      • mikefoxtrot says:

        that's not what I've read. I've seen reports that the contract will be valued as $180 over seven years for luxury tax calculations.

        perhaps you might look into this a bit further and get back to us.

        • guest says:

          Laughing and more laughing…luxury tax value and real dollar value are different…

        • I read one place that has the AAV at $26.4 million which would mean that he's only being taxed on $184 million. I'm not sure I buy into that. He's guaranteed $210 million and he's under team control for the next 7 years. It doesn't matter if a contract is front loaded, back loaded or deferred.

          It's not like it really matters at all, though. The Nationals are comfortably under the luxury tax threshold. And if we're worried about what would have happened if the Yankees had signed him, I don't think $3.6 million per year makes much of a difference.

  2. Joe says:

    I think they should be trying to off load some of these big contracts for pennies on the dollar. There time with the model they have been going with is over, and it will only work if you go all in with it which they have shown they no longer want to do. Actual rebuild time, try to off load gardy and Ellsbury while they still have value, and tex, Beltran, arod see what u can get. Just to get a fresh start. Let tanaka show he's healthy and then move him, maybe cc will show something too. It's a 75 to 80 win team and that's the same as a fifty win team, might as well be rebuilding while your doing it

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      Yankees have made it clear they're never going to rebuild. And Yankees won't let go of Gardner for now is because his contract is team-friendly. He's a bargain compared to the A-Rod's and CC's and Texieria's on the roster.

  3. hotdog says:

    even if you believed it to be true, why would you air it here…and why wouldn't you be a little more constructive…Delia is a pretty informed writer…she's not going to reinvent the wheel every time she speaks but she keeps everything up to date with facts and opens up to sharing her opinions in the hope that others will as well…and it's friggin free…why whine…she keeps this thing afloat…geesh!

    • hotdog says:

      If the majority of the content of stories from this site is not to your liking, why do you continue to come back…

  4. Fred says:

    So you don't think we need to spend money THIS year…but we do need to spend money NEXT year.
    Essentially we do need to spend money.

  5. Fred says:

    Delia's post says we don't need to spend money, but then says we need to spend money….essentially you get what you pay for.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      I should have been more clear, but for clarification I meant the Yankees don't need to spend $210 Million for a person in the rotation when the method they've been doing this offseason has worked well: low-risk, high reward contracts and making trades with hope Rothschild can tinker with the players. I've watched video on Capuano and watched endless video of Eovaldi after he was traded. Eovaldi has serious potential but hasn't found it yet. Rothschild is one of the best pitching coaches in the American League and Eovaldi hasn't reached his prime yet. I would gladly like the Yankees to continue doing what they're doing because the days of the Yankees spending ludicrous amounts of money is behind us.

  6. Balt Yank says:

    I agree the post does not make sense. The post says, 'We don't need to spend money' but wait: The starting rotation consists of three likely-to-be-injured members, a newbie, and a 36-year-old fringe pitcher. Unfortunately, we're stuck with CC & Tanaka for the next few years at $20+ per year.

  7. mikefoxtrot says:

    saying that the Yankees filled a hole in the rotation by signing Capuano is reckless optimism. Capuano is not a capable starter over a season. he is, at best, a replacement for Phelps as a spot starter/long man.

    • guest says:

      Why don't you go look at Capuano's career splits? Maybe you will change your mind. Also note that just because he might start the season as the fifth starter doesn't mean he will stay there throughout the year.

  8. SuperSwede says:

    Ccapuano? Only a stop gap for Nova. Hopefully he comes back reasonably strong and the Yanks can use Capuano in some trade at the deadline or before as the case may be. I think Nova will prove to be just as good as he was preinjury….

  9. scooter10 says:

    I think the rotation is set with the five mentioned above. With De Paula, Mitchell, Whitley in reserve. If they Yankees get out of the box and are competitive, there will be plenty of pitching available at the trade deadline.

    • Balt Yank says:

      The rotation hangs by a thread. I hope Tanaka is healthy. He's likely not great when healthy as his fastball is very hittable, which is why he was throwing so many split fingers and injured his elbow. (my 2 cents). CC, if he's a five inning reliable pitcher, we're lucky. More?–call him the comeback kid.

      • mikefoxtrot says:

        perhaps you failed to note that Tanaka, prior to being injured, was pitching at a level higher than any other pitcher in the AL East.

    • mlblogsnewyorkyankees13 says:

      I'm not too comfortable with this rotation to be honest. Sabathia, Pineda and Tanaka are one injury away from a rotation in shambles, especially Tanaka. Yankees need to add some more pitching but not by signing a James Shields type free agent. Sometimes the best talent isn't the one that cost the most money.

      • Ollie says:

        I agree with you 100% If they can get some pitching depth fine but no need to break the bank! Barring injuries, which can happen to anyone, The Yankees actually have a very good rotation going into camp. Tanaka was dominate when healthy,and how good was Pineda when he came back! CC is not the Ace he once was but he doesn't have to be as he won't be asked to pitch against the Ace of the other team every start. Not sure about Eovaldi except he throws gas and a Lefty (Capuano) in Yankee Stadium is never a bad thing!And remember with the improved defense on the infield all the pitchers are a lot better! And I haven't even mentioned the much improved bullpen! So There, everyone relax!

  10. Robert Rufa says:

    Maybe they should keep Brandon McCarthy. Oops, wait–that ship has sailed.

    • Joe says:

      To all the people clamoring for them to sign fister next season, think about this McCarthy got for years and 48 mil… Is fister really the 100 mil pitcher we want cus it's gonna take a whole lot more than what McCarthy got to get him. They should have took the risk and resigned him cus the market is trending upwards drastically… Sherzers got his 210 mil, so I'm sure someone will sign shields for 100 after a horrible postseason. Fister is younger and has pitched well in the postseason. Good luck

  11. Les says:

    They can try Adam Warren as a starter. Their bullpen is in great shape and the need to keep Warren there is not nearly as relevant as last year.

  12. Balt Yank says:

    I wonder if Adam Warren could be a starter too, though he may be the classic good reliever marginal starter type. Also, the Yankees have a loaded bullpen now from the left side, in theory at least, and not a backlog of RH relievers.

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