Yankees' rumored free agency backup plan for Gerrit Cole will make fans shudder

Yeah, maybe as a supplement or an innings-eater, but not like this! Never like this!

Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One
Championship Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Philadelphia Phillies - Game One / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The New York Yankees are going to have to prepare for life without Gerrit Cole for at least a little while. The team's ace has not been revealed to have a torn UCL on every bit of imaging done thus far, but specialist surgeon Neal ElAttrache would prefer to have a closer look to determine specific next steps.

Cole will certainly be out until early summer, but perhaps longer if ElAttrache pinpoints something in person that he was unable to discern after examining Cole's scans from afar.

All of this to say ... if the Yankees need a short-term fix, they could do much worse than the pitcher Ken Rosenthal connected them to on Tuesday night. If they need a long-term fill-in for their ace, this will, uh, not cut it.

The Athletic's insider reported on the various machinations of a Dylan Cease trade late Tuesday, putting the Rangers and Padres at the forefront of talks (SPOILER ALERT: The Padres ended up at the forefront). While the White Sox are reportedly considering an external rotation addition in the wake of the Cease swap, Rosenthal is also hearing that free agent Michael Lorenzen "could be an option for the Yankees as well" (subscription required).

Speculative? Fine. Sourced? Whew, boy. Will Warren feels like a better idea.

Yankees could be targeting Michael Lorenzen in MLB free agency

Hey, Ken? "Unhear" the Lorenzen part. Thanks.

The right-hander shone immediately after being acquired by the Phillies last summer, hurling a dramatic post-trade deadline no-hitter at Citizens Bank Park. Unfortunately, that outing derailed his momentum for the remainder of the year; he found himself out of the Phils' playoff rotation after nursing an 8.22 ERA in Sept./Oct. regular season action.

Lorenzen can soak up some amount of innings competently prior to reaching his personal breaking point, but the righty is in now way a Cole replacement, nor is he a swing-and-miss denizen who can keep the pressure off his defense.

Every solution to the Cole conundrum is imperfect, but if -- BIG if -- the Yankees' ace is back by the summer, there seems to be very little reason to plug his rotation spot by surrendering some combination of the rumored names they've discussed in the Cease chatter. Lorenzen, in this best-case scenario, would make a modicum of sense.

If Cole's long-term gone, though? Please seek higher ceilings, Yankees.