MLB Hot Stove rumors: Yankees still after rotation help after losing out on Yu Darvish

On Saturday, free-agent starter Yu Darvish signed with the Chicago Cubs, ending a prolonged winter that saw him entertain offers from a diverse group of teams -- including the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Minnesota Twins.

The New York Yankees, meanwhile, never made Darvish an offer. Despite that, the Yankees continue to scour the free-agent and trade markets for additional arms to add to their cabal of starters. Two names who are on the Yankees' radar? Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi.

Here's MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi on the Lynn possibility:

With Darvish -- and Todd Frazier -- having signed elsewhere, the Yankees' free-agent options are coming into focus. They have monitored Lynn's marketplace this offseason, but it's unclear if they can fit him into the roughly $15 million they have budgeted for spending between now and Opening Day. The Yankees' payroll is not yet close to the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, but general manager Brian Cashman wants to allow flexibility for Trade Deadline moves.

Previously, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal had reported about the Yankees "checking in" on Odorizzi during the winter. Both Lynn and Odorizzi profile as mid-rotation types. Lynn missed 2016 due to Tommy John surgery then posted the highest walk rate of his career last season. Yet he has topped 175 innings in each of his last five tries and has an impressive track record of consistently above-average pitching. Odorizzi, on the other hand, has topped the 175-inning mark once, and last year walked as many batters as Lynn did while allowing more home runs -- his batted-ball profile favors flyballs significantly more than Lynn's, making him an odd fit for New York.

In either case, it's clear the Yankees are still thinking about beefing up their rotation. They're projected to trot out a rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Sonny Gray, and Jordan Montgomery, with Luis Cessa serving as an emergency option and prospects Domingo German, Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, and Justus Sheffield likely coming into play as the year progresses. That would seem like enough as it is, but the Yankees are presumably hoping to add a veteran so they don't have to rush a youngster should the need arise.

Of course, as Morosi mentioned, the Yankees don't have a ton of money left to spend, and could instead decide to use what they have elsewhere. With Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres coming sooner than later, it might not make sense to sign a long-term fit at either second or third base. But trying to lock in someone like Mike Moustakas or Neil Walker for a season seems like a reasonable play -- if not, perhaps, a realistic one.

We'll see what the Yankees do between now and Opening Day. Just know that they seem to be exploring all options. 

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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