3 Free Agent Pitchers Yankees Should Target
With the New York Yankees taking care of their DH situation, when they agreed to terms with Matt Holliday. They can now look to different areas of needs such as starting pitching. With a rotation consisting of Masahiro Tanaka, followed by CC Sabathia, and Michael Pineda as the only locks, and the No. 4 and 5 spots up for grabs between potential free agent incomers or in-house options (Luis Severino, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Adam Warren, Bryan Mitchell).
With Rich Hill agreeing to terms with the Dodgers, and the pitching market limited with options and lacking an ace unlike years before (Zach Greinke and David Price in 2015). There are still back of the end rotation guys who can be a value signing, and over perform their contracts. Here are some short-term options to fill their rotation void and MFST will examine three free agent arms they should target.
Jason Hammel, 34
Jason Hammel was more than a serviceable back-end arm for the Chicago Cubs, who bolstered one of the best starting rotations in baseball that consisted of Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Hammel himself. In 2016 for the Cubs, he went 15-10, with a 3.83 ERA over 166.2 innings.
Hammel would bring a veteran presence, and a reliable arm as he’s thrown at least 166 innings in 6 of the past 8 seasons. Although his consistent track record is impressive, Hammel will turn 34 and the mileage could ultimately catch up to him, as he’s shown signs of decline in 2016. Hammel’s saw increases in FIP (3.68 to 4.48), HR/9 (1.2 to 1.4) and BB/9 (2.1 to 2.9) which may worry the Yankees but if he can be had on a one year deal, similar to that of Bartolo Colon’s contract (1-year, $12.5 million), he could look to be an innings eater, and slide into the No. 4 or 5 spot in the Yankees rotation.
Tyson Ross, 29
Tyson Ross made just one start in the 2016 season, allowing 7 ER in 5.1 innings before undergoing shoulder surgery in October, with a recovery time of 4-6 months. With his injury and expected $10 million salary from arbitration, the San Diego Padres Non-Tendered the former All Star, making him an instant hot commodity in the pitching market.
Ross is just a year removed from starting in a career-high 33 games going 10-12, with a 3.26 ERA, fanning 212 batters over 196 innings. And two years removed from making an All Star appearance going 13-14, with a 2.81 ERA, 195 strikeouts over 195.2 innings. If the Yankees can agree to a one year, incentive-laden deal, Ross could look like one the biggest bargains of the offseason if he returns to forms, and can help a lackluster starting rotation.
Travis Wood, 30
Another option for the Yankees is another former Chicago Cub, Travis Wood. Wood is a guy who the Yankees should consider regardless of who they sign to fill their rotation spot. Wood saw all his work out of the bullpen in 2016, where he went 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA over 77 games. In 2015 for the Cubs, Wood was used mainly out of the bullpen, after struggling as a starter where he went 2-2, with a 5.06 ERA in 9 starts. Although he struggled as a starter and is best suited out the pen, where he has succeeded, Wood can compete for a rotation spot in spring training, and be used as depth incase the injury bug once again attacks the Yankees.
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