Looking Ahead to the New York Yankees 2017 Starting Rotation

Aug 14, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 14, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Yankees rotation is in flux for 2017. General manager Brian Cashman will have to find upgrades if New York wants to return to contention next year.

The Yankees will go into next year, barring injuries, with Masahiro Tanaka as their ace and C.C. Sabathia and Michael Pineda following him. All three of these guys have their question marks.

Will Tanaka’s elbow continue to hold up for another full season? Will age 36 Sabathia continue to be a productive starting pitcher in the last year of his contract?Finally, will Michael Pineda ever figure it out completely, or does the team finally cut the cord and trade him? T

hese are difficult questions to answer, but I think the Yankees will go in to 2017 counting on these three to be in their rotation and producing.

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Now the big questions will be who are the other two members of the starting rotation. Nathan Eovaldi is dealing with an elbow injury and is questionable at best to even pitch next year. One possibility is the Yankees could look at Eovaldi as a middle reliever after another up and down year as a starter.

Then, there is Luis Severino, who after setting the world on fire in his rookie season, has been clobbered every time he has started a game this season. Severino also looks like he might be best suited for the bullpen.

One intriguing wild card is 25-year-old Chad Green, who looked absolutely filthy in Monday’s 1-0 victory over the Blue Jays, but he too has been inconsistent as a starter.

Luis Cessa will get his first turn in the rotation Saturday, but the front office might also view him as a long-reliever type long-term. He is completely unproven at the big league level at this point, but could force the issue with a strong performance over the next six weeks.

Finally, the unknown of the group is Bryan Mitchell, who suffered a broken toe in spring training and just started a rehab assignment. The Yankees love Mitchell’s arm and he will probably be given a chance to win a rotation spot next spring training.

As for what free agents the Yankees could target this off season, it is a pretty unspectacular group. There a couple of older veterans with some upside like Rich Hill, Jeremy Hellickson, and Andrew Cashner. Alternatively, the Yankees could look to bring back Ivan Nova, or sign a depth guys like Doug Fister to deepen their rotation.

Next: Yanks Go Yard’s Midseason 2016 Top 30 Yankees Prospects

My guess is the Yankees will look to move some of their depth in position players this offseason to upgrade their starters. Whether it is a lesser move like trading Brett Gardner for a #2 or #3 starter, or if its trading a couple prospects for a bonafide ace like Chris Sale. The Yankees will surely be looking to wheel and deal this winter to add starting pitching help.