AL East: Each team’s biggest offseason need

New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two

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New York Yankees: Starting pitching and patience

The Yankees have needs in their starting rotation. While those needs are not as glaring as in Boston, they are still there. Masahiro Tanaka is the only sure thing in the rotation. Michael Pineda is wildly inconsistent, as is Nathan Eovaldi. Ivan Nova is mediocre at best and injury-prone. Luis Severino was a rookie, and it will be difficult to predict how he will fare over a full season. Then there’s CC Sabathia who is dealing with personal issues, injuries, and declining performance.

The Yankees made the playoffs this year (they got one game), but that was mostly due to the struggles of the three teams below them in the division. New York got off to a hot start, and barely held on down the stretch. Older players like Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann really began showing their age. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner endured massive slumps, and Mark Teixeira went down at the worst possible moment.

For once, the Yankees have a group of talented young prospects on the horizon — Gregory Bird, Aaron Judge, Rob Refsnyder, and Severino — who all look like viable Major League starters. Dellin Betances may be the best relief pitcher in the league, and he’s not even closing yet. While none of these players may ever live up to the past results of the “Core 4,” it’s a start for a franchise that has very little to show from its farm system over the past decade. There will be a lot of salary relief coming in the next few years as the contracts of A-Rod, Beltran, Sabathia, and Teixeira start coming off the books. The Yankees need to sign a starting pitcher this offseason, and sit on their hands and avoid signing aging, former stars. Ben Zobrist is the only other big-name position player on the market worth considering for the Yankees.

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