New York Yankees: After acquiring Juan Soto, Brian Cashman must add pitching next

After acquiring Juan Soto, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman needs to focus on starting pitching next.
Colorado Rockies  v San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies v San Diego Padres / Denis Poroy/GettyImages

Entering the 2023 winter meetings in Nashville, the New York Yankees had some work to do to improve their team following an 82-80 season and fourth-place finish in the American League East. General manager Brian Cashman made a pair of moves to improve not only the lineup but his outfield depth.

Tuesday night, Cashman acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox for three pitchers. Wednesday night, the Yankees’ GM made the biggest splash to date in the offseason acquiring outfielders Juan Soto and Trent Grisham from the San Diego Padres in return for five players, Kyle Higashioka, Michael King, Jhony Brito, Drew Thorpe, and Randy Vasquez.

Of course, the biggest piece of the deal is Soto and there is only one year of control remaining for the left-handed slugger. Don’t expect him to sign a long-term extension in the Bronx with Scott Boras as his agent as they’ll be seeking more annually than the $23 million he’s making in 2024.

Despite adding three talented outfielders, there is still more work for Cashman to do this winter.

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman needs to add starting pitchers

You can have all the offense you want, but it doesn’t mean much unless you have pitching. New York has the 2023 American League Cy Young Award winner Gerrit Cole at the top of the rotation, but after that, the look is less than exciting.

Right now, Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon follow Cole, but after that, additions from free agency or a trade are going to be needed.

Blake Snell is available after his dominating year with the Padres in 2023, but he will be out of the price range of the Yankees (one would think). There is still Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a star from Japan, who is going to be involved in a massive bidding war with a lot of teams, but you have to think now that the Soto deal is done, Yamamoto is next on Cashman’s list. 

Offensively, the Yankees are going to have a stacked lineup. However, aside from a stacked lineup, you need a starting rotation that is going to be good and right now, after Cole, it doesn’t feel like there can be a lot of trust in Cortes and Rodon unless they have a bounce-back season. Can Clarke Schmidt be counted on every fifth day? Right now, pitching is needed in the Bronx and should be the next move for Cashman after giving up four young arms and an MLB catcher for Soto and Grisham.