With only a month until pitchers and catchers report, predicting how the 2015 Yankees will fare is an extremely difficult endeavor. The roster that GM Brian Cashman has assembled includes very few sure things. This feeling of uncertainty is most pronounced in the starting rotation.
Cashman chose not to throw money at the problem via free agency. He watched last season’s surprise savior Brandon McCarthy sign with the Dodgers for $48 million. New York never seemed to be real players for Max Scherzer or John Lester, who received massive contracts from the Nationals and Cubs respectively. As a result, the Yankee rotation is filled with nothing but question marks.
It is a hard to remember a Yankee rotation that was more of a boom or bust proposition. If everything breaks right, the Bomber have the potential for a terrific staff. If everything breaks wrong it could be a complete disaster. I will proceed to break down the boom and bust scenarios for each of the expected starters.
If Jacoby Ellsbury can get seven years and $153 million, you can’t blame Robinson Cano for thinking he is worth at least 200. As a Yankee fan, I am trying to talk myself into the Ellsbury signing, but I can’t help but think that they paid a shit ton of money for a 30-year-old oft-injured outfielder who hit 9 home runs last year.
Ellsbury is certainly a nice player and taking his production away from the rival Red Sox helps narrow the talent gap with the reigning World Series champions. That said, paying this type of money to a player with Ellsbury’s injury history is a major risk. If this contract precludes the Yankees from resigning Cano, it is a potentially franchise altering miscalculation.
If you believe well sourced CBS Sports reporter John Heyman, “the Yankees don’t want to go much beyond $170 million over seven years” for Cano. It would be very difficult to argue that Cano is only $17 million more valuable than Ellsbury over the life of a seven year deal.