Will the Yankees settle on mid-tier pitchers?

Yankees' pitchers at 2021 spring training

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The Yankees’ bullpen is their weakest link and they need to bolster it to emerge as a title contender the next season. But, will they settle on mid-tier pitchers available?

Except for Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes, no other pitcher on the Yankees’ roster started 20 regular-season games for them last year. Frankie Montas, who the Yankees got from Oakland at the trade deadline after missing out on Cincinnati’s Luis Castillo, will also be back. However, he had a terrible first few months because of a shoulder injury he already had and bad play. Domingo German and Clarke Schmidt should offer depth, but one of them will have to occupy the No. 5 slot for the time being. Even among their top prospects, the Yankees don’t see a worthy pitcher ready for the MLB cap and boost their rotation.

Jameson Taillon, who is no longer with the team, had the second-most starts (32) and innings pitched (177 1/3) of anyone on the roster. He was ahead of Cortes, who left the ALCS final game due to injury, and Luis Severino, who was out with a strained lat. The Yankees didn’t make Taillon a qualifying offer of $19.65 million, and they still don’t think he’s worth what he could get on the open market. Instead, they’re still interested in Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon.

Kodai Senga, a right-handed Japanese player, is another option.

After signing a five-year, $185 million deal to leave the Mets and go to the Rangers on Friday night, Jacob deGrom is no longer a long shot.

The market for middle-tier starting pitchers is starting to take shape. Zach Eflin signed a three-year, $40 million deal with the Rays, and the Red Sox are said to have matched that offer, even though he had an injury-plagued season.

That happened after pitcher Tyler Anderson agreed with the LA Angels to accept an offer of $39 million.

But fans are not convinced if the Yankees are seriously pursuing Verlander, Rodon, or Senga for their lineup. And if the franchise fails, they will have no other top-tier free agent to recruit. The Yankees have to select from among middle-tier free agents similar to Taillon or Nathan Eovaldi, who used to play for the New York team.

Noah Syndergaard could also be a choice. He pitched well for the Angels and Phillies, even though his speed was slower after Tommy John surgery.

The Yankees hadn’t met with the 30-year-old right-handed former Met as of this week, but they were interested in him before the trade deadline in August. They were also interested in Jose Quintana again in the middle of the season before he was sent from Pittsburgh. But the pitcher with a good record with the Pirates completely failed when he played for the Cardinals.

That happened after the lefty, who started out as a minor league pitcher for the Yankees before becoming a standout starter for the White Sox, had back-to-back injury-plagued seasons after a rough 2019 with the Cubs.

Next month, Quintana will turn 34, but if the first few weeks of the offseason are any indication, he may be worth more than the Yankees are willing to pay.

There is a chance that Gleyber Torres may go as a substitute to land a pitcher capable to boost the bullpen. But one possible destination, Seattle, may be out of the selection. On Friday, the Milwaukee Brewers sent second baseman Kolten Wong to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for left-handed hitter Jesse Winker, who could have made sense for New York as well.

Before the trade deadline, the Yankees talked with Miami about getting right-handed pitcher Pablo Lopez in exchange for Torres. They could try to do the same thing again.

What do you think, leave a comment below?

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