The Yankees' starting rotation is perhaps at a crossroads this offseason, and the front office has plenty of decisions on their hands with how to better prepare the staff for 2024.
They have a varied collections of arms: one established ace in Gerrit Cole; a few solid up-and-comers in Clarke Schmidt and Michael King; some guys coming off injury-riddled 2023 seasons like Carlos Rodón and Nestor Cortes; and a ton of upper minors depth.
It's assumed the Yankees' front office will be adding and subtracting from this unit in order to make the unit more efficient and supplement other areas of the roster, but they'll have to answer some pressing questions about their internal and external options as that plan comes into focus.
4 questions the Yankees need to answer about the 2024 starting rotation
Will they sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto?
The Yankees have been heavily linked to Yamamoto ever since Brian Cashman's September visit to Japan to watch the right-hander pitch live. Since then, he's finished his platform season with a better ERA than countrymen Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, and Daisuke Matsuzaka did in theirs, and threw a 14-strikeout complete game in the Japan Series to put the icing on the cake.
Yamamoto might be the best Japanese pitcher who has ever looked to make the jump to MLB so far, but this is no secret to rival front offices. The Yankees should expect to find themselves in a bidding war with the Mets and other suitors.
If Yamamoto is really the game changer he's been lauded as, the Yankees should stop at nothing in their pursuit. Pitchers that have thrown a full season's workload of innings are the most valuable commodities in today's market, and at just 25 years old, Yamamoto looks to be a better long-term option than just about anyone who would be available in free agency or via trade.
The right-hander sits 93-95 MPH with his fastball (he's topped out at 99), and has impeccable control of his secondary stuff, which includes a cutter, curveball and splitter. He would slot in at the number two spot in the Yankees' rotation and stay there for years to come.