Yankees: 3 starting pitchers NYY can target instead of Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Tyler Chatwood #32 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /

2. Tyler Chatwood

The Yankees could get a bargain once again by taking advantage of a former Cub.

Tyler Chatwood, the spin rate king, was considered likely to be a massive breakout candidate when the Cubs swiped him from the Rockies in free agency a few years back.

We’re still waiting for Chatwood to become a household name, but in the shadows, he actually regained a good bit of confidence while no one was looking in Chi-Town.

In 2019, Chatwood split time between the ‘pen and rotation as a swingman, recapturing a bit of his supposed glory with a 3.76 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched (five starts). Chatwood throws a famously spinny bender, and has always theoretically had an extra gear to hit, which he approached but didn’t bypass in ’19.

Last time he hit free agency, it was anticipated that he’d reach his ceiling in Chicago, and the Cubs would be getting the final cheap and controllable years of Chatwood’s career. Well…no dice. He’s now hitting the market again, and seems like a prime target for Matt Blake to show off his developmental expertise.

If Chatwood can’t harness his spin rate under Blake, then it’s probably not happening. And, likewise, if Blake can’t unlock something here, he might not be as vaunted a pitching guru as we thought. This would be a high-pressure short-term addition, but perhaps the Yankees could be the ones to crush Chatwood into a diamond.