3 way-too-early extensions Yankees should consider before 2024 season

We weigh the pros and cons and deliver a verdict. You want to be like the Braves, though, right?

New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Yankees v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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Michael King, RHP

Michael King has earned a spot here by wedging himself halfway between a relief role and a starting job in 2023. Who decided to make King a starter midstream, one year after suffering a serious elbow issue that derailed the Yankees' 2022 postseason hopes? Did King push for it until he got his way? Did the Yankees believe they'd be getting more value out of King's arm if he could cover five innings rather than two at the back end?

If it's the latter, then the Yankees probably wouldn't be too keen on paying extra for his services after just a few months of experimenting (King is under team control through 2026).

If it was King who desperately wanted to be a starter again and couldn't wait for 2024, maybe he'd be willing to reward the Yankees for testing it out and fulfilling his dreams by agreeing to a discounted contract? Something that buys out his remaining two arbitration years and tacks on two more for, say, $25 million?

King probably knows better, and is eyeing a free agent payday in 2025-2026 after what he hopes will be two successful seasons in the rotation. He's been worth 2.7 bWAR in 2023 despite some midyear relief dips, and has allowed just three earned runs in 28.1 innings since leaving the bullpen behind on Aug. 20.

Side note, why did the Yankees start him a few times, then use him in high-leverage relief against Boston (it didn't go well) before sending him back into the rotation? Why do they do anything that they do?

King is an interesting candidate here (who's becoming more interesting with every start), but he'd probably want a full "prove it" year in the rotation before considering any Yankees overtures.

VERDICT: King says no if asked.