“I think we’ll get there with both,” a source told me yesterday.
Obviously there’s still a chance things could fall apart, but at this point it seems safe to assume those two are back in the fold. That leaves the Yankees with a pitching staff that they could — if they wanted to — carry into spring training with no further alterations.
Ivan Nova/David Phelps
Best-case scenario for this group is pretty good. There’s an ace at the top, reliable veterans in the middle, and young guys with potential at the bottom. That’s a solid mix, and there’s certainly a strong chance the Yankees will add a low-cost veteran or two. Adam Warren and Brett Marshall loom as depth if nothing else, and Michael Pineda lurks as a mid-season possibility.
Add Phelps to this mix if he’s not in the rotation. The 40-man roster also has guys like Cesar Cabral and Mickey Storey as options, and you can bet the Yankees will bring some fringy veterans into the spring training competition. There’s always that chance that another established, late-inning alternative will be signed if the price is right.
As it is, this is not a bad pitching staff. In fact, it will be a very good one if Kuroda and Pettitte can repeat their results, Hughes and Nova can find some consistency, Aardsma and Chamberlain can thrive further removed from surgery, and Rivera can be his old self. If nothing else, there’s no pitching desperation at this point.
That said, is it enough? Would you like to see the Yankees add another arm, and if so, which pitcher — or what type of pitcher — do they need? Is this team still short a starter? Is there too much uncertainty in the late innings? Where is this pitching staff strongest, and where is it still too weak?
Associated Press photo