Yankees' GM Brian Cashman recently spoke about their acquisition of Juan Soto and the need to bolster their roster further. While the addition of Soto is undoubtedly significant, Cashman emphasized that they are not done yet and are actively looking to strengthen their team, particularly in the pitching department.
One of the key concerns for the Yankees is the depletion of their pitching resources due to the trade for Soto. The departure of three pitchers, namely Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez, who collectively contributed 232 ²/₃ innings in the previous season, has left a noticeable void.
Additionally, the inclusion of top prospect Drew Thorpe in the trade and the loss of prospects Mitch Spence, Matt Sauer, and Carson Coleman in the Rule 5 draft have added to their pitching woes. What's striking is that the Yankees, historically known for their pitching depth, now find themselves in need of reinforcements on the mound.
Cashman emphasized that they are actively exploring options in both the rotation and bullpen, acknowledging the need to address their pitching concerns comprehensively. Their starting rotation currently revolves around ace Gerrit Cole, with several question marks surrounding the remaining slots.
Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortes, and Clarke Schmidt are some of the options, while prospects like Luis Gil, Will Warren, or Clayton Beeter may fill the fifth starter role. One significant addition that could bolster the Yankees' pitching staff is Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, with whom they are in discussions.
However, competition for Yamamoto's services is fierce, with the Mets also expressing interest.
Bullpen Strength and Expansion
In the bullpen, the Yankees have a relatively stronger position, with notable names like Clay Holmes, Tommy Kahnle, Ian Hamilton, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Ron Marinaccio expected to return.
Nevertheless, they are looking to enhance their bullpen depth further. Cashman declined to comment on the team's payroll limits, indicating that they are focused on building a competitive roster without specifying budget constraints.
Finally, Cashman addressed the recent trade with the Boston Red Sox, noting that the Yankees had been pursuing Alex Verdugo for several years. Verdugo is expected to be the Yankees' regular left fielder and offers solid hitting against right-handed pitchers.
Cashman expressed confidence in Verdugo's ability to handle the New York spotlight, stating that the team had conducted a thorough evaluation of his character and found him to be a determined player who embraces big challenges.
The Yankees believe that Verdugo will be a valuable addition to their roster as they continue their quest to strengthen their team in multiple aspects.