Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino may be the most important parts of the Yankees’ rotation this season — though for very different reasons. General manager Brian Cashman made clear again Tuesday the current roster likely will be the one that goes to spring training, so there doesn’t figure to be a significant starting pitcher added this offseason. Cashman reiterated the asking price remains too high for a potential high-end starter. Tanaka, coming off a strong season, remains the team’s clear No. 1 starter. He can opt out of his contract after this year and despite the slight UCL tear he has pitched with since midway through his first season in The Bronx, he could still cash in next offseason. It’s a scenario Cashman isn’t contemplating yet. “What’s good for him is good for us,” Cashman said. “If he has a great year, he’ll have a decision to make. If he doesn’t, he won’t.” Given the state of free agents this offseason, Tanaka could opt out even after a mediocre 2017, provided he stays healthy, and ask for the sky. As for Severino, the Yankees continue to look for a reason why he took such a step back in his first full season in the majors, when he stumbled out of the rotation and into the minors — only to find a second life as a dominant arm out of the bullpen. He might have put on too much muscle before last season and the Yankees are hoping he regains some flexibility this offseason so he can be plugged back in as a starter. As for the rest of the rotation, Cashman admitted he may fall short of one goal.
Brian Cashman talks Yankees rotation plans for 2017
New York Post | Jan 11