July 12, 2024

It’s Christmas time in the Bronx, and the New York Yankees must address various needs to vie for a World Series championship in 2024. Despite bolstering the lineup with the addition of Juan Soto, the team’s primary focus now lies in shoring up their pitching staff, especially following the disappointment of missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto in free agency. Considering the team’s requirements and the available players, these five individuals should be on Brian Cashman’s radar this winter.

Corbin Burnes stands out as the most skilled pitcher expected to be accessible in the free agent market, with just one year remaining before reaching free agency next offseason. This impending free agency should contribute to lowering the acquisition cost.

Burnes would seamlessly complement Gerrit Cole, making him an ideal pitching partner. If Cashman can secure him for three or fewer of New York’s top 10 prospects, he should not hesitate to finalize this deal.

Shane Bieber

The Shane Bieber who earned the 2020 American League Cy Young Award may no longer be the prevailing version. Nevertheless, Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake is considered a potential key to reviving that Bieber. Given Bieber’s uncertain health history, gameplay concerns, and impending free agency, there’s a chance his market value could drop. This could make it feasible for the Yankees to acquire him without depleting the upper half of their farm system.

Making Sense of a Potential Shane Bieber Trade for the Guardians - Covering  the Corner

In a scenario where Cleveland is eager to move Bieber and no appealing trade offers materialize, the Yankees could present an offer involving one or two prospects from the lower half of their top 10. If this proves sufficient, the Yankees should pursue the trade without hesitation. Even last year’s version of Bieber, if rekindled by Matt Blake, could enhance the Yankees’ rotation, potentially as the No. 4 or 5 pitcher.

While acknowledging the team’s current rotation quality, unlocking even a portion of Bieber’s past excellence could position him as a formidable No. 2 or 3 pitcher, depending on the Yankees’ other offseason moves.

Zac Gallen

Zac Gallen is poised to become a free agent following the culmination of the 2025 season. Playing for a small market team enhances the possibility of the New York Yankees exploring a trade for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ standout pitcher.

Gallen has established himself among the elite in National League pitching, consistently landing in the top five for the Cy Young Award over the past two seasons. His durability is evident, having thrown nearly 400 innings while maintaining an ERA hovering around the 3.00 mark.

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Possessing an impressive array of tools to outmaneuver batters, Gallen boasts four plus pitches and exceptional command. His profound feel for the game, coupled with a remarkable capacity for mid-game adjustments, underscores his elite status. Gallen’s keen understanding of the game and the ability to recognize when a particular pitch isn’t effective contribute to his knack for finding alternative solutions during challenging situations.

The diverse repertoire of pitches at Gallen’s disposal allows him to pitch deep into games, offering a fresh perspective to each batter, even during subsequent encounters in the order. This quality renders him an invaluable asset for the Diamondbacks, as his ability to go deep into games helps preserve the bullpen’s stamina—a factor of immense significance.

While Gallen’s proven ace status and two remaining seasons under team control imply a high acquisition cost, the benefits he brings make him a justifiable investment. The challenges Arizona may face in securing his re-signing make the team receptive to trade discussions. Considering a potential trade while Gallen still holds ample team control positions the Diamondbacks to secure a premium return for their prized pitcher.

Dylan Cease

Dylan Cease presents an intriguing option for teams seeking starting pitching assistance. The White Sox right-hander delivered an outstanding performance in 2022 but encountered significant struggles in the subsequent year. His challenging season in 2023 may lead to a potential decrease in his perceived value.

White Sox GM on Dylan Cease trade rumors

Teams vying for Cease might expect to part with three of their top 10 prospects in exchange. Considering the White Sox’s reported preference for pitching assets, players like Clayton Beeter and Chase Hampton could become viable options if negotiations were to commence between the Yankees and White Sox. With several years of team control remaining, Cease could become a valuable asset for the Yankees in the long run.

An additional incentive for the Yankees to pursue Cease could be preventing him from joining the Orioles. Given Baltimore’s evident need for pitching to address a significant gap in their roster, obstructing Cease’s acquisition could not only bolster the Yankees but also potentially weaken a key playoff competitor. Although the Yankees may be cautious about offering too much due to Cease’s inconsistent performance, Brian Cashman should assess the situation carefully based on the evolving market dynamics.

Bobby Witt Jr.

The Yankees should prioritize Bobby Witt Jr. from the Kansas City Royals as their top choice this holiday season. Witt, a promising young talent at shortstop, has the potential to become a cornerstone of the Yankees’ lineup for the next decade.

Witt possesses the attributes that the Yankees currently lack. He excels in both hitting for average and power, showcasing the ability to draw walks. Additionally, his incredible speed makes him a constant threat on the basepaths, capable of stealing bases or scoring from first on a well-placed hit.

Bobby Witt Jr. May Be 2023's Best-Kept Secret | FanGraphs Baseball

Whether placed at the top of the lineup as a leadoff hitter to set the table or in the middle as a run-producer, Witt would be a versatile asset. His skills make him equally adept at getting on base and driving in runs, ensuring a dynamic presence in the lineup and maintaining pressure on opposing pitchers.

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