Before he signed a two-year, $50M deal to return to the Houston Astros, the New York Yankees made a decent push to sign veteran righty Justin Verlander. The Yankees offered Verlander $25M for 2022, but they did not offer a second season, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network (via Twitter). Verlander ultimately got $25M a year for two years with an opt-out from the Astros.
Though Verlander has made just one start in the past two seasons, the 8-time All-Star won the American League Cy Young award the last time he was healthy for a full season, leading the Astros to an American League pennant. $25M is no paltry sum, but as a one-year deal, signing Verlander would have been a relatively low-risk move for New York.
Without Verlander, the Yankees are still on the lookout for more rotation help. As of now, their rotation consists of Gerrit Cole, Jordan Montgomery, and a host of less certain options. Luis Severino should be a solid third arm if he’s able to stay healthy, and Nestor Cortes Jr. put together a pretty convincing run at the end of the 2021 season. Domingo German and Jameson Taillon are veterans with question marks who are capable of adding value from the rotation – though you might not be totally comfortable banking on a full season from either.
Meanwhile, the Yanks will again hope that their younger arms are able to establish themselves as contributors. Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, Clarke Schmidt, Luis Medina, and Michael King are all on the 40-man roster and could compete for bulk innings roles. Garcia is the most popular name in that bunch after a heartening six starts in 2020, he took a step back last year, pitching to a 6.48 ERA/4.85 FIP across 90 2/3 innings in Triple-A while making just two starts in the Majors.
Kyle leads sports coverage and hosts the Concrete Jungle podcast. Have a lead or question? Send it to [email protected].