A six-man rotation could make the Yankees even more dangerous

HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 21: CC Sabathia /

The Yankees may put together a very strong six-man staff in 2018, especially if CC Sabathia is brought back. 

New or old? That seems to be the decision the Yankees may have to make this offseason when it comes to adding the final piece of their starting rotation.

In terms of veteran lefty CC Sabathia and Japanese sensation Shohei Ohtani, it very well could be one or the other, as the Yankees’ rotation already has four of five starters locked in with Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and Jordan Montgomery.

Now, of course, you can never have enough starting pitching depth and a team certainly needs more than just five starters to last a full season.

Furthermore, Ohtani may fit perfectly into a lengthened rotation if he really is to enter MLB with intentions of being a two-way player.

The Yankees could pitch him the idea of getting a start once every six days in addition to being slotted into the lineup as their DH once or twice a week.

With the sweepstakes for Ohtani set to begin December 1st, it’s no surprise the Yankees will make him their prime target this Winter. Along with the $20 million posting fee, the Yankees can pay up $3.5 million for the 23-year-old right-hander, which gives them the second most to offer, just under the Rangers’ $3.535 million.

So unlike past Japan-MLB negotiations, money won’t be too much of a factor with Ohtani which was made even more clear when his agent Nez Balelo of CAA sports released a questionnaire that a team that wants him, must answer. 

More from Yanks Go Yard

  • Evaluate Ohtani’s talent
  • Explain their player development
  • Medical training and player performance philosophies
  • Description of minor league and spring training facilities
  • Resources for Ohtani’s cultural assimilation into their city
  • Vision for how Ohtani could integrate into the organization
  • Tell Ohtani why their team is a desirable place to play

The Yankees should face no trouble filling out this questionnaire, as some could argue it even benefits them with their abundance of luxurious facilities, playing in the very multicultural New York City, and the possibility of pitching alongside fellow Japanese native Masahiro Tanaka.

Although the signing of Ohtani would fill out the Yankees’ starting staff, Sabathia has stated he would still be open to the idea of re-signing with the Yankees even if it meant pitching in a six-man rotation.

“At this point, with my age, yeah, I don’t care” Sabathia said this past Tuesday — coming off his best season since 2012, going 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 games in 2017.

So, for argument’s sake, let’s say the Yankees land the prized Shohei Ohtani, and also ink Sabathia to a one year deal. Fans could see a very strong rotation in Severino-Tanaka-Gray-Sabathia-Ohtani-Montgomery, with the last three slots being interchangeable.

Next: This manager search is getting out of hand

If general manager Brian Cashman puts together a pitching staff of that capability, we’re talking about a far more dangerous Yankee team than the one who took the Astros to Game 7 of the American League Championship Series.