Entering the new year and only a couple months before teams report to camp, the 2016 Yankees rotation still has some question marks. Will C.C. Sabathia’s injury woes and personal problems be resolved? Will Michael Pineda and Masahiro Tanaka stay healthy for a full season? Will Eovaldi and Nova pitch consistently well in 2016? Will anyone else step up? These questions lead us to scanning through the available pitchers that are left in free agency.
Let’s take a look at some of the best remaining free agent starting pitchers:
Mark Buehrle: pitched 32 games, 198.2 innings, had 15 wins, 8 losses and an ERA of 3.81.
Doug Fister: pitched 25 games, 103.2 innings, had 5 wins, 7 losses and an ERA of 4.19.
Yovani Gallardo: pitched 33 games, 184.1 innings, had 13 wins, 11 losses and an ERA of 3.42.
Ian Kennedy: pitched 30 games, 168.1 innings, had 9 wins, 15 losses, and an ERA of 4.28.
Cliff Lee: did not pitch in 2015.
Tim Lincecum: pitched 15 games, 76.1 innings, had 7 wins, 4 losses and an ERA of 4.13.
Lincecum (hip), and Lee (elbow) are coming off significant injuries suffered in 2015 but are looking to return to a team’s rotation in 2016. Doug Fister is coming off his worst year statistically in the majors and a season where he was moved to the bullpen in 2015. Buehrle had the best statistical season from the group but there have been plenty of rumors stating he would not return unless signed by his native St. Louis Cardinals. Lee, Lincecum and Fister would be interesting pickups for any team willing to take a chance on former number one or two pitchers. With the Yankees trying to find the fountain of youth, the only pitcher under 30 from the list of pitchers above is Gallardo.
If the Yankees don’t stand pat or work out a trade for a young stud, they should seriously consider signing Gallardo. Even if Gallardo doesn’t pitch like the ace he once was he still has been a better pitcher than Sabathia (the last few years), with C.C. going 14-13, 3-4, 6-10 in the last three seasons boasting an ERA near or at 5.00 over that stretch. Yovani Gallardo has been much better the last three seasons in comparison to C.C. averaging a 3.70 ERA. Gallardo is a notch above Ivan Nova who racked up a 8.27 in 2014 and 5.07 in 2015 and Nathan Eovaldi who had his first winning season in his career in 2015. He is not going to give you Cy Young numbers but could be just what the doctor ordered for a rotation that was a bit under the weather at times last year.