New York Yankees
2016 Committed Salary: $182.8 MM
The New York Yankees rotation is still very much up in the air entering 2016. Masahiro Tanaka can be counted on, until his elbow spontaneously combusts. Michael Pineda is still an enigma. The tall right-hander has all the potential in the world, but still cannot put things together over a full season. Pineda is equally likely to go down with an injury at any given moment. There’s Nathan Eovaldi, similar to Pineda in untapped potential. CC Sabathia‘s future is cloudy for many reasons, but he did pitch well down the stretch before leaving the team to take care of his personal issues with alcoholism. Luis Severino may be the safest bet in the bunch, but he has 62.1 big league innings under his belt.
Many wanted the Yankees to pull the trigger on a Cueto or Price deal at the trade deadline, but management decided to hang onto prospects and wait until free agency. That was likely the smart move, as the Yankees did not have a World Series-winning roster assembled in 2015. Cueto will also be on the Yankees free-agent shopping list. Price does not seem likely to sign with New York. As with the Red Sox, the Yankees need consistency from their starting pitchers, and there is no way to predict if Cueto will be the shutout-throwing pitcher from the World Series or the home-run-allowing mess he was most of his time with the Royals. Jeff Samardzija has also been linked to the Yankees, but he is another Pineda/Eovaldi-type. Zimmermann is the best option for New York.