1. Ryan Yarbrough
No, the Yankees should not have paid Ryan Yarbrough $3 million to occupy a rotation spot.
That said, without Montas, they’re going to need innings eaten. Adding Yarbrough to Domingo Germán and Clarke Schmidt would’ve made that backup unit a bit more formidable.
Without Luetge, they’re going to need a low-leverage swingman, as well as someone who can secure three-inning saves, from time to time. Yarbrough can provide that type of length and more.
Yarbrough may no longer have the Yankees on the other side of the diamond from him, which could slice his effectiveness down just a bit. Think we’re kidding? Career against the Yankees, he has a remarkable 1.99 ERA in 54.1 innings, surrendering just 35 hits.
That may be his best career split, but he also acquits himself well against the Blue Jays (9-3, 3.53, 89.1 innings pitched) and Orioles (3.72 ERA in 84.2 innings, though that lineup is changing). Red Sox? Eughhh, don’t look (7.68 ERA in 68 innings, eaten alive by Fenway).
Against every other team but the Bombers, Yarbrough is a mid-leverage and low-leverage beast (career 98 and 92 OPS+ against in those scenarios across MLB), but struggles in high-leverage spots (a brutal 132 OPS+ against).
All the team needs is a mid-leverage, alt-sided alternative to Germán for the time being, though. Maybe it’s Matt Krook. Should’ve been JP Sears. But Yarbrough is battle-tested, and was available for cheap.