As of right now, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda and C.C Sabathia could all be off the team next season.
With Sabathia you're okay with, because he's older and has reached end of his tenure with the Yankees.
Pineda isn't a great pitcher, but you need an arm like his in the middle of your rotation.
Then you have Tanaka who can opt out of his contract this upcoming season -- and if that happens, the Yankees might very well be in trouble.
All those potential problems points to the southpaw pitcher in the south side of Chicago, in Jose Quintana. Who the Yankees really, REALLY need this season.
The rumor is that the Chicago White Sox asking price for Quintana, from the Yankees, is outfielder Clint Frazier and starting pitcher James Kaprielian.
Now, I'm gonna try to stay away from trading Kaprielian, since he's a starting pitcher. But as for trading Frazier, I'm gonna do it.
First of all -- Frazier should be playing in the majors. The Yankees should've traded Brett Gardner in the offseason and started Frazier in the outfield on Opening Day. In spring, he was tied with Jacoby Ellsbury with 12 hits and batted .308 with 1 homerun and 8 RBIs.
When will the Yankees play Frazier? Next year? Ellsbury will still be here and under contract. Gardner, unless they trade him, will still be here and Aaron Hicks, who they love so much, will still be here as well.
The Yankees haven't been aggressive about acquiring pitching, for the last couple of years. They've been linked to signing Bryce Harper and/or Manny Machado in 2019 when they become free agents -- why? Worry about pitchers and not position players. Harper and Machado are players who could be signed to long-term extensions by next year.
Do I think Frazier is gonna be good? I do. Although not every player the Yankees have in the farm, will become a star. And if they all do become stars, guess what? They won't have any pitching!
Will pitchers Kapreilian and Justus Sheffield be stars by that time? Probably so. But they can trade for Quintana and still keep those young arms.
The Yankees have passed on trading for top flight pitching, in recent years.
In 2008, they came very close to getting Johan Santana but didn't wanna part with Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy; which didn't hurt them, but it didn't help, either.
In July of 2010, they came very close to acquiring Cliff Lee from the Seattle Mariners; the deal fell apart because the Yankees didn't wanna give up Jesus Montero and Eduardo Nunez, so Seattle ended up trading Lee to the Texas Rangers.
The last time the Yankees traded for a pitcher, was when they acquired Michael Pineda from the Mariners for Montero.
The last top flight pitcher they traded for was Randy Johnson in 2005.
So it's been a long, long, long time since they've acquired a frontline starter, via trade.
Quintana makes a lot of sense for the Yankees. Stating the obvious: that he's young, a lefty and making controllable money for the next four years. Although you put him with Tanaka on top of the rotation, I think the Yankees are definite contenders for a wild card spot.
If Tanaka opts out this offseason, Yankees won't have to worry about re-signing him -- if they get Quintana. A lefty ace in the Yankees rotation, is like two great pitchers in one. A lefty ace pitcher can hold off a lot runs in Yankee Stadium.
If (Justus) Sheffield makes it to the majors next season and the Yanks get Quintana, that's a very solid one-two lefty combo on the top of the rotation. If the Yankees have those two, they can pretty much have four and fives pitchers behind them. Two tough lefties in the rotation, can be pretty tough for anyone to beat in Yankee Stadium.
I haven't heard much about Frazier, this week. His name has been very quiet. The only news we got out of him was his hair being cut. As for his playing this spring, nobody has said how good he's been or planning for him to come up to the majors. We've been hearing more about Gleyber Torres; we're hearing about how he could come up to the majors this season and how he should play over the injured Didi Gregorius -- but nothing on Frazier.
Never know. Maybe the Yankees are planning to trade him for Quintana.