Friday, January 28 2022
Justin Verlander looks ahead in grey Astros uniform

Justin Verlander looks ahead in grey Astros uniform

The Yankees were among the 15-20 teams present at Justin Verlander‘s workout at Bombers’ employee Eric Cressey’s facility in Florida on Monday, as the veteran starter looked to prove he still has what it takes to pitch in a rotation next season.

And Verlander did just that, according to multiple reports, throwing all his pitches and looking good in the process.

But at 38 years old and coming off Tommy John surgery, of course teams are going to be wary about what the veteran right-hander can still provide.

It’s still a risk the Yankees should highly consider.

To put it simply, Verlander would be a perfect fit for the Yankees and there’s numerous reasons why.

The first is the track record. Like a fine wine, Verlander just got better with age, pitching with high velocity and solid off-speed stuff that just got hitters out. That’s why he won the Cy Young Award in 2019 after posting a 2.58 ERA with a 0.83 WHIP and 300 strikeouts over 223 innings.

Age will always be a factor with pitchers especially, but the risk with Verlander is diminished a bit due to what he’s been able to produce for years now.

Secondly, the Yankees need someone that’s going to be a solid number two to Gerrit Cole. And yes, when they were both in Houston, Cole was Verlander’s number two but the roles would obviously be reversed here.

But that’s another yes factor for bringing Verlander in. He has a connection with Cole already and they’ve both been through the postseason gauntlet, going to the World Series in 2019. More importantly, though, the Yanks would have someone behind Cole they could trust gets the job done.

And that’s not to say Jameson Taillon or Luis Severino couldn’t do that. But when you see the rollercoaster Taillon went through last season, as well as Severino just returning in late September coming off his own Tommy John surgery, there’s no telling what both of them will be able to do in 2022.

Speaking of current Yankee pitchers, there are some arms to fall back on if Verlander doesn’t work out, either by injury or performance. Between Domingo German, Luis Gil, and Clarke Schmidt, many options will be available for Aaron Boone to work with.

Lastly, Verlander shouldn’t break the bank. He’ll likely seek a one-year pact, maybe with a player or club option for the following year, and that’s it.

But Yankee fans could contradict this notion by saying Corey Kluber did the same thing last year with the Yanks and that didn’t work out too well. However, Kluber had shoulder complications prior to coming to New York compared to Verlander’s Tommy John, which has become such a standard procedure for pitchers now with many bouncing back just fine after recovery.

There are other options available for New York to ponder, but between Verlander’s overall career, powerful pitching arsenal, connections already on the team and an estimated short-term deal, the Yankees should be very interested in bringing the eight-time All-Star to the Bronx.

After all, they’re in a championship window and no one on the market knows more about those scenarios than him.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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