Yankees ‘in the market for pitching’ after landing Juan Soto

The Yankees aren't finished.

“It's not just him,” GM Brian Cashman said of Juan Soto. “We have to continue to work on what else we can add to this roster.”

The biggest need, Cashman acknowledged, is pitching of all kinds.

The Soto trade removes Michael King, Johnny Brito and Randy Vazquez, three pitchers who combined for 232/3 innings in the major leagues last season. Cashman said it would also be damaging to include prospects Mitch Spence, Matt Sauer and Carson Coleman, who “we got slammed” in Wednesday's Rule 5 draft. A day earlier, they needed three more pitchers (Greg Weissert, Richard Fitz and Nicholas Giudice) to get Alex Verdugo.

The Yankees' greatest strength, the depth of their pitching staff, is a cause for concern.

“We're in the market for a pitcher,” Cashman said Thursday on Zoom. “Rotation, bullpen, combo, all of that.”

Blake Snell is one of the top free agent pitchers who could be on the Yankees' target list. AP

The rotation is expected to include Gerrit Cole and a number of question marks, including Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortez and Clark Schmidt.

The current No. 5 starter could be Lewis Gil or a prospect like Will Warren or Clayton Beater.

The most important addition will be Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto, whom the Yankees will visit on Monday.

However, the competition to land Yamamoto will be fierce, including the Mets, led by Steve Cohen.

Other top free agents include Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell.

Cashman declined to comment on how much the Yankees' salary could rise.

The Yankees' bullpen is in a better position than the rotation. The Yankees will look to add more depth, but will need to bring back Clay Holmes, Tommy Kahnle, Ian Hamilton, Jonathan Loaisiga and Ron Marinaccio.

While it was unusual for the Yankees and Red Sox to meet to make a trade this week, trade talks between the two sides were not.

The Yankees have been trying to lure Verdugo away from Boston for several years.

“We've had a tremendous amount of pre-conversation with Boston over the past two years regarding Verdugo,” Cashman said. “This time, we were both able to find something we could live with, and we didn't blink an eye.”

Verdugo will likely become the Yankees' regular left fielder and pitch well as a right-handed pitcher (his career OPS against them is .807). He is a polarizing figure with the Red Sox, and was benched twice last season, once because he was late to a home game and once because he didn't hustle.

Cashman said the Yankees “thoroughly investigated” Verdugo's makeup and discovered “he's a gamer.”

“We've obviously seen him have a rivalry,” Cashman said of the 27-year-old. “I don't think this situation in New York will be a problem for him. I think he can take on the big stage. He had a lot of conversations. [with] Many people who were [in Boston] or are currently there or passing through it. ”



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