2. Rowan Wick
Rest assured: the Yankees will search for the next Clay Holmes at this year’s deadline. Not sure what else they’ll do, but by midseason, things will definitely look a bit different at the back end of a slightly-worn-down bullpen, and Brian Cashman will be aiming to steal someone else’s lunch to cover August and September.
Will every bad MLB team enter the deadline prepared for his tricks and ready to say no deal? Probably. But they’re definitely going to try.
That leads to Rowan Wick of the Cubs, though his 2022 breakout has already begun. A slightly elevated (OK, reasonably elevated) 1.533 WHIP is the only real blemish on the 29-year-old Canadian’s resume, and it comes alongside a 1.80 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15 innings pitched.
When you look under the hood, Wick’s case gets a bit stronger; his average exit velocity’s in the 73rd percentile and K percentage is in the 75th, though both marks are moving in the wrong direction in recent days. His fastball and curveball spin are both rather pedestrian, but the Yankees seem to be able to increase those numbers once players enter their charter school in the Bronx.
Knock the chase rate up a few ticks and make the soft contact more consistent, and you might be able to minimize Wick’s walks/really have something here.
Now … as an unknown quantity, Wick’s under control through 2025, and will cost a significant sum. But hey … that’s the same amount of control over Holmes that the Yankees were able to obtain last year for just Hoy Park. Give Cash a shot, and hope the Cubbies continue to lose so Wick stays buried.