2. No More Flyers on Injured Starters … Regardless of Pedigree
Corey Kluber wasn’t the problem, let’s make that clear. The problem was the Yankees thinking it was a good idea to acquire TWO starting pitchers last offseason who had barely pitched since 2019 in Kluber and Jameson Taillon. You just knew one of them wasn’t going to work out … and the potential of both not doing so was greater than both putting forth productive seasons.
Kluber made just 16 starts and failed to contribute in a meaningful manner when the Yankees needed him most down the stretch. A shoulder injury sidelined him from late May until September. His no-hitter in Texas was no doubt awesome, but if you told us the price was going to be a 100-day absence, we would’ve traded it right back.
As for Taillon, he was not good to start the year, and his disastrous outing against the Phillies had us re-thinking the team’s entire offseason plan. But then he rebounded to win AL Pitcher of the Month in July and things were looking up. The rotation took yet another hit, however, when he suffered an ankle injury late in the year and was limited in what he could do.
The crazy part is that the Yankees almost did this again this offseason when they attempted to lure Justin Verlander away from Houston with a $25 million offer. A guy coming off Tommy John surgery entering his age-39 season? Have we not learned? And they didn’t want to offer a second year, which is when they would’ve seen the best results, because we know most pitchers don’t find their footing in their first season back from the reconstructive elbow surgery.
The Yankees already have liabilities in the form of Luis Severino and question marks such as Domingo Germán, Michael King and Clarke Schmidt. No more, please. We need stable, definitive options who we know can give us 150+ innings and be effective in one of the most important roles on the roster.
No more flyers. No more low-risk, high-reward decisions. Not this year.