Yankees: This 2021 pitching plan could be front office’s excuse not to spend
The Yankees, theoretically, have a plan in place for the 2021 starting rotation.
It’s no secret that a sect of New York Yankees fans want to see the team sign Trevor Bauer this offseason, even though that’s probably not possible if you want DJ LeMahieu and Masahiro Tanaka back.
Enough cannot be said about owners across Major League Baseball exercising financial caution as long as it’s unclear if fans will be allowed to attend games in 2021. The Yankees claim they lost the most of any organization because of the global pandemic, so that’s a good a sign as any that they’re not going to go above the $210 million luxury tax threshold.
For those of you hoping to see the addition of another pitcher, that probably won’t happen. If they re-sign Tanaka, which many are expecting, they have a plan in place to start the year as they wait for Luis Severino to return from Tommy John surgery.
If the Bombers have to go the first two or three month without their young-right hander, they can easily employ a rotation that looks like this:
- Gerrit Cole
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Deivi Garcia
- Jordan Montgomery
- Domingo German/Clarke Schmidt
JA Happ is gone. James Paxton likely is too. The emergence of Garcia and gutsy ALDS Game 4 performance from Montgomery have further given the front office confidence in these guys to hold down rotation spots for the long haul (if that wasn’t already the case).
As for the final arm, Schmidt, who fans were dying to see more of in 2020, could crack the Opening Day roster if he impresses in Spring Training after a few disappointing appearances in his debut with the Yankees this past season. German, who served his suspension for his alleged involvement in a domestic dispute, should also be back in 2021, but it’s unclear what his status with the team is moving forward.
Say the Yanks re-sign Tanaka in the ~$12 million range for argument’s sake. That gives them Cole ($36 million) and Tanaka (~$12 million) as the only ones making big bucks before Severino ($10.75 million) rejoins. Garcia, German and Schmidt are pre-arbitration players that will make well under $1 million each and Montgomery, who made $805K in 2020, is up for his first year of arbitration eligibility, which will likely see him get a nice raise closer to $1.5 million.
And right there, you have a rotation for about $50 million in total to hold down the fort behind the team’s explosive offense until Sevy returns. They have the arms, they have more of an excuse not to block the young pitching talent, and it’s clear these guys could be enough to keep the team afloat.
You all wanted to see Schmidt more, right? Well you could very well get that, but it won’t be for the reason you had hoped.