The New York Yankees need a starting pitcher or two, an introduction I have written every day from 2004-2021.
So who’ll it be this season to be Gerrit Cole’s running mate? Do the Yanks make a deadline splash and call up the Cubs, perhaps? Do they try to resurrect someone’s career? Or do they just pop 2021’s equivalent of Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small into the rotation and hope for an outrageous two-month Band-Aid?
We’re not sure exactly how much this team needs (it’s a lot), but if the right opportunity presents itself to get better, there’s zero reason to shy away from an innings-eater who could fill out the rotation and preserve Cole, Jordan Montgomery and a returning Luis Severino.
Could that man be former Phillies World Series MVP Cole Hamels? We’ve speculated about it before, but now Hamels is poised to throw in a showcase, and the Yankees will, at the very least, be in attendance.
Something? Nothing? Due diligence? Glazed-over snoring while Hamels throws softballs at a pillow in a Hyatt?
MLB insider Joel Sherman doesn’t think Yankee fans should get too excited.
Yankees Rumors: Is Cole Hamels showcase meaningless?
You’d be angry if the Yankees saw a high-profile, borderline-Hall-of-Fame starter initiating a showcase and then Googled the price of flights and decided, “Nah. Let’s give Michael King 10 more chances.”
That said … this probably isn’t going anywhere, and the Bombers will either upgrade internally or trade for a longer-term solution. Although if Hamels blows them away, you can’t rule out the addition, right? At the very least, they’ll get a first-hand look at whatever’s going on.
In Hamels’ last full MLB season in 2019, he went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA (4.09 FIP) as a 35-year-old in the NL Central with the Chicago Cubs. A popular trade deadline target in 2018 as he slogged away in Texas (4.72 mark), he became rejuvenated after a deal to Chicago and maintained that competitive fire through ’19.
Unfortunately, after signing with his former NL East rivals in Atlanta prior to 2020, the season was largely scrapped and Hamels came down with an injury just 3.1 innings into the campaign. As icky as Hamels in Atlanta might’ve felt, the most logical destination for his reunion will feel equally satisfying.
If the Phillies are heavily involved, the Yanks won’t back off for sentimental reasons. If Hamels looks all the way back, New York will happily give him a place to land and pillow himself towards a larger contract next year.
According to Sherman, though, he isn’t a top priority yet.