Yankees running out of options if eyeing Stroman says insider
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The recent roster changes made by the New York Yankees, notably the acquisition of Juan Soto and the trade involving Michael King, have brought to light a pressing need for pitching improvements. However, concerns arise about the team’s commitment to fostering a positive clubhouse culture, given their pursuit of players with questionable character or a history of controversy.
While the team’s undeniable desire to win is evident, the signing of players like Carlos Rodon, known for conflicts with his pitching coach and public mockery of fans, or considering Marcus Stroman, who once criticized Brian Cashman on social media, raises questions. These choices seem to contradict the longstanding “Yankee Way” tradition of professionalism and respect, leaving some fans and observers wondering if winning at any cost, irrespective of character, has become the new priority.
Joel Sherman of The New York Post believes the Yankees are looking toward Stroman out of desperation to boost their rotation.
But Stroman has gone from a “no way” possibility for the Yankees this offseason to at least in play because when this organization wants someone and/or is desperate, it will look the other way or ask Rougned Odor or Nick Swisher their opinion or pretty much create the scenario necessary to ignore the mirage of a Yankee Way,” he wrote. “And, boy, are these Yankees desperate.”
Yankees desperately need pitching reinforcements
While the Soto trade is exciting, it depleted the Yankees’ pitching depth. The departure of Michael King, who was projected as the #2 starter behind Gerrit Cole, leaves Nestor Cortes, dealing with recent injury concerns, and untested prospects like Beeter and Warren to fill crucial rotation spots.
This reliance on unproven talent wouldn’t be as concerning if the Yankees weren’t aiming for an immediate championship. Their aggressive pursuit of high-priced free agents like Yamamoto underscores their urgency to win in 2024, despite the associated risks.
Though promising names like Stroman, Snell, Montgomery, Bieber, Burnes, Cease, and Luzardo are on the table, they come with potential baggage—whether in the form of past personality issues, injury history, or hefty price tags. The Yankees will need to carefully assess the potential benefits against the potential pitfalls of each acquisition.
Can the Yankees uphold their winning tradition while maintaining the high standards of character and clubhouse environment that once defined the “Yankee Way”? The answer lies in their upcoming moves in the pitching market.
Stroman and Yankees: A match of mutual convenience?
While Marcus Stroman’s vibrant personality and history of online conflicts may raise eyebrows, his current status as a free agent could align with the Yankees‘ urgent need for pitching reinforcements. Stroman’s recent cleanup on social media, potentially erasing past criticisms of the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman, indicates a strategic move to assimilate into their locker room. However, it raises questions about the necessity of such efforts amid a competitive bidding war for his services.
Stroman’s reputation is multifaceted. On one hand, he is recognized for his on-field tenacity, expertise in inducing ground balls, and impressive athleticism. On the other hand, concerns arise about his tendency to create tension with organizations and engage in online disputes, impacting locker room chemistry.
The friction between Stroman and Cashman dates back to 2019 when the GM publicly questioned Stroman’s postseason capabilities. This led to a period of online exchanges from Stroman, prompting speculation about the authenticity of his recent social media purge—whether it is a genuine change or an opportunistic move. Interestingly, had Stroman been with the Yankees in 2021 and 2022, his skills might have proven valuable, akin to Jordan Montgomery’s current role with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This underscores the Yankees’ current dilemma. With Gerrit Cole as their sole reliable postseason starter, the pressure on him is immense. They urgently need to enhance their pitching depth, even if it involves considering players with past controversies.
Are the Yankees willing to overlook his past for his immediate pitching prowess? And is Stroman prepared to adapt to a potentially demanding and scrutinizing environment after past conflicts? The answers to these questions will dictate whether a scenario of “Stroman in pinstripes” will ever come to fruition.
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