The Yankees need Gerrit Cole in 2020. They really need him in 2021. So they have to sign the ace righty or add someone else of substance they imagine being part of rotations beyond just next season.
James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka are both entering their walk years and J.A. Happ also would be a free agent after the 2020 season if he does not vest his 2021 contract with either 27 starts or 165 innings next year. The Yankees, therefore, might soon be looking at re-enlisting and/or replacing 60 percent of their rotation.
That all three are present next season along with Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery and, the Yankees hope, Domingo German (who still is awaiting word on a potential suspension in 2020) keeps the team from feeling desperate with its rotation, especially because the Yankees again project to have a strong bullpen and lineup to protect their starters.
Still, this is the area the Yankees want to address most. Brian Cashman is not publicly airing how much of an investment the Yankees are willing to make in a starter. Interested onlookers on other teams have been fairly split in their speculation between:
1. How can the Yankees ignore Cole? He has been their white…