The way I hear it, the Pirates know what the Yankees are willing to do for Gerrit Cole and vice versa, but the discussions never became particularly heated. Movement will be needed from one side and/or both in the New Year to regenerate negotiations. But that doesn’t mean the Yankees and Pirates shouldn’t deal, even if not for Cole. Josh Harrison has been mentioned as a secondary piece in talks and the way the Yankees are constituted perhaps he should be at minimum 1-A in importance. If the season began today, the Yankees would return the rotation that helped them to the brink of the World Series last year — Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka. They also can have Chad Green and/or Adam Warren stretch out as starters in spring plus Chance Adams, Luis Cessa and Domingo German provide depth with the possibility that Albert Abreu, Domingo Acevedo and/or Justus Sheffield could help at some point during the season. Would another starter, such as Cole or Patrick Corbin, be beneficial with so many red flags in the rotation? Of course. But, right now, the Yankees have no sure things at second or third base. The most experienced guy is Ronald Torreyes, who has 52 career starts at second and 43 at third. Miguel Andujar and, especially, Gleyber Torres are big talents. Let’s remember, though, that even as terrific as Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge turned out, their initial forays in the majors were poor. Just about every terrific player needed to be optioned back to the minors early in their career. And, right now, the Yankees do not have much protection for Andujar and Torres, who did not play after June 17 last year because he needed Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow. The other choices are Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade. “We are not prioritizing any one thing, we are ready to go with what we have got,” general manager Brian Cashman told The Post. “We are open-minded to opportunities whether they be positionally or pitching. We are not prioritizing to add to the youth competition at third and second over the rotation option. We will take any opportunity to improve the club. If it makes enough sense, we’ll execute it.” Cashman said part of trading Starlin Castro and Chase Headley this offseason was a belief in the young group that remains. He noted a lot of teams decide to go with young players “for better or worse.” But these Yankees have championship aspirations and if the youth doesn’t work instantly they would have huge holes from the outset. The team should have a powerhouse lineup and bullpen, so just having players at second and third who can field the positions and not be automatic outs would be enough — for example, if Torreyes was at second and someone like Yunel Escobar at third until the youngsters are ready, I think the Yankees would be fine. Cashman also reiterated “that is not going to change” as far as the Yankees vow to go below the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Thus, it might be difficult to shoehorn Todd Frazier back on the team.
The Yankees’ biggest need is not another starting pitcher
New York Post | Jan 2