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A Very Early Look At The Yankees Biggest Need

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Pitching, of course.

Summer is coming to an end soon. Labor Day has come and gone. Pumpkin spice is everywhere. A co-worker of mine from Montana said her hometown got their first dusting of snow yesterday, it will be the first in a VERY long fall and winter season. So soon the postseason will be here and then it will be gone. Hopefully it ends with a Yankees championship but no matter what free agency will be here soon after.

So I am already looking at potential Yankee targets. The Yankees need more starters and we all know this. Question is, did Yankee brass learn a valuable lesson after not signing Patrick Corbin? Time will tell. Lucky for us, there is a pretty good free agent market to look forward to.

1. Jake Odorizzi

The Yankees checked in on Odorizzi in the past but after 8 years in the majors he’s had a breakout year. Odorizzi made his first All-Star team this year and has a 3.60 ERA through 147.1 innings. He will be thirty in march and could get a big contract if he ends the second half strong, and does well in the postseason. He could be a good middle of the order guy for the Yankees.

2. Zack Wheeler

I really don’t want to even think about this name but…the Yankees were tied to him just before the trade deadline read more HERE. He hasn’t handled pressure well in Queens and it seems questionable that the Mets would even extend a qualifying offer according to reports before the trade deadline. I don’t see Wheeler as an upgrade but maybe the Yankees see some potential there somewhere. I’d be okay passing.

3. Hyun-Jin Ryu

Ryu has spent all 6 years of his MLB career with the Dodgers. He has a crazy 2.45 ERA which as good as that is, his ERA was lower earlier in the season. He’s stumbled recently and even had one bad outing against the Yankees. He has the talent, but this is his first season pitching more than 150 innings since 2014 and at 32 years old his injury history is something to consider. Thankfully none of his injuries have involved his arm or his shoulder. The Yankees should be cautious when considering contract length if they want to make a run at him. 

4. Madison Bumgarner

No secret here, the Yankees have been connected to Bumgarner for a long time. We know what he is capable of. We know what he can do in the postseason and that experience is invaluable. That could be a huge asset to the Yankees for years to come if he stays healthy and consistent. Those are big “IFs” but any team will give him consideration this season. Question is how interested are the Yankees and how interested should they be?
5. Stephen Strasburg

This could be a bit of a wild card but rumor is Strasburg is considering an opt-out of his contract after this season, read more HERE. He could opt out for more leverage in getting a bigger deal, we’ve seen that before. The 16-6 record and 3.50 ERA could help bring him a bigger payday. 

6. Gerrit Cole

The Yankees have been chasing Cole since they drafted him back in 2008. His 16-5, 2.73 ERA and 281 strikeout this season make him a priority for every major league team, especially the Yankees. He’s an ace on a stacked Astros rotation and would definitely be the same for the Yankees. He’s durable, he’s dominant and going to get a big payday. Hopefully it is the Yankees that finally get him they’ve been chasing after him forever. I love the idea of him in a Yankees uniform.

The Yankees passed on Patrick Corbin over the winter, but with a more attractive free agent class coming this winter I doubt they pass on pitching again. Who would you like to see the Yankees sign?

–Jeana Bellezza-Ochoa
BYB Managing Editor
Twitter: @nyprincessj


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