3 pitchers Yankees should absolutely overpay for in a trade

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Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Kyle Hendricks #28 of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

1. Kyle Hendricks

The Yankees need a pitcher just like Kyle Hendricks.

This would be the splurge of all splurges from a trade package standpoint, but it’s truly the perfect move for the Yankees. Kyle Hendricks‘ style of pitching is a spot-on complement to the flame-throwing Cole and he’s signed through at least 2023 (with a vesting option for 2024). Here’s the contract breakdown:

  • 2021: $14 million
  • 2022: $14 million
  • 2023: $14 million
  • 2024: $16 million vesting option (or $1.5 million buyout)

Theo Epstein really worked his magic with this one because Hendricks is your prototypical No. 2 starter. He can pitch in big games. He can give you length. He’s efficient. He induces a lot of ground balls. He averages 7.6 K/9. He rarely ever blows up.

He’s 69-48 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 175 games since his debut in 2014. This contract takes him through his age-34 season and then the Yankees would rid themselves of his decline years. Hendricks behind Cole for the next four years is what will make this team a true contender because the Yankees’ offense always performs better when it’s relaxed.

If the lineup knows it has Cole and Hendricks on the bump twice in a series, the players won’t have to constantly come up with a big hit or feel the need to get on top early. It’ll just be business as usual. Let Cole be Cole. Let Hendricks be Hendricks. And let the offense do its damage when there’s an opening.

And you know what’s crazy? Hendricks has only been a top-three Cy Young finisher once despite sporting incredible FIPs since 2014 (3.32, 3.36, 3.20, 3.88, 3.78, 3.61, 3.55). Whether he brings home the hardware or not, this is a steady force that’s worth paying a high premium for.

The Cubs hold the power here, but the Yankees can very easily play into their needs and figure something out. If they were to consider that, this is an entirely different Yankees team.