Yankees must be very careful before clearing Domingo German for 2021

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 06: Domingo German #55 of the New York Yankees pitch sin the first inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 6, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 06: Domingo German #55 of the New York Yankees pitch sin the first inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 6, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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The Yankees must think long and hard before approving the return of Domingo German.

The Yankees have a clear and present rotation problem entering 2021, but one of their rotation stalwarts from 2019 may not be worth counting on for a solution.

Domingo German, absent from the team following a violent domestic incident described by Hal Steinbrenner as “horrific” late in the ’19 season, was suspended for the duration of the most recent season. That answered a potentially difficult question for the Yankees; even if they were tempted to pick up the phone and enlist his services, they weren’t able to.

German’s time away from the team presented a few strange moments, even though he was ostensibly out of the spotlight. An erroneous Instagram rant pledged he was veering towards retirement, and a photo of his brother convinced many the slight righty had undergone a wild physical transformation.

Both Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner were forced to address German in their end-of-season addresses this week, and neither made definitive statements on the pitcher’s semi-active career.

Cashman did not have much to say, though the implication that German asked many times about appearing with his “teammates” this season comes off as unsettling.

Steinbrenner, on the other hand, did lay the stakes out; he made it clear there was a chance German would not be cleared to return for 2021 based on his behavior, which we believe to have taken place in public at a charitable fundraiser for CC Sabathia.

Simply put, we would rather not read or write about German ever again. We would like to witness a championship run of which he is not a part.

Yankees fans are still reckoning with the karmic retribution involved in the business decision to obtain Aroldis Chapman at a scandalous discount. He’s still on the roster, since extended; the front office has likely showed him undue faith.

There are no monetary implications keeping German in place, and plenty of other options who can fill out the back end of a rotation without inviting louder and louder questions. If the possibility that he returns in 2021 is as serious as it seems from this plethora of questions, we hope Steinbrenner and Cashman will explore all additional avenues before finalizing their decision.