The rotation and bullpen are full of questions:
Can CC Sabathia rebound?
How will Masahiro Tanaka fair against a major league line-up?
Is it possible for Ivan Nova to maintain his end of the year stats?
Will Hiroki Kuroda be able to perform at a high level for a full season?
Michael Pineda, is he ready to return to his status as an All Star?
Can Manny Banuelos contribute in 2014?
Do the Yankees have the talent to constuct a top bullpen?
Has David Robertson become the closer? Is he ready for the task?
Shawn Kelley can he be a top set-up guy?
Brian Cashman maybe loosing sleep over his current pitching group. If I was him I would be looking for options or fall back candidates. To me I would be looking at Michael Pineda and Man-Ban as long relievers or #5 starters with inning resrictions. These two guys are way too important to the future success of the Yankees. I would want to make sure that these guys are totally recovered from surgery, before banking on 200 innings from either one.
That is why I believe a Paul Maholm would be a nice addition. Specially if he could be used as a #5 starter or a long relief guy. Being a loogy makes him a very intriguing option. If possible to get him on a 1 yr or a 2 yr deal. He should come cheap, 4 to 8 million a year. Ubaldo Jimenez probable has the highest upside of the current free agent starters. He would be a good mentor and addition to the pitching staff. Yet he is still seeking a five year deal for 14 million a year. He has shown flashes of returning to that #1 or #2 starter that he was as a Colorado Rockies. One thing for sure he has the ability to keep the ball inside the stadium. If signed what does that do for the up and coming pitchers in the system? With the 2015 free agent class containing James Shields, Homer Bailey or Max Scherzer, hard to commit to a long term deal for a fifth starter.
On the trade front, Homer Bailey may be the only option available to the Yankees. He fits in well. He is used to pitching in a very homer friendly stadium. Seems to be getting better as he ages. His two no-hitters prove that. First off, how available is he? From all indications the Reds are trying to resign him to a long term extension. What would we have to give up to secure him for one year? If I am Cashman I would look into this trade and try to secure Brandon Phillips, as well, to help solidify the infield. To me it is both or nothing. Specially if I have to give up a player like Brett Gardner or a high level prospect for just one year of Homer Bailey. Homer would have a full year to showcase his talents for a monster contract for the start of the 2015 season. Once again it all depends on what the Reds want in return for Bailey.
Someone who keeps popping up as a player of interest to the Yankees is a recovering Johan Santana. Santana is about ready to show case his talents for teams, sometime in Feburary. He needs to be signed to a minor league contact. One loaded with incentives and a offered to come to Spring Training. He will be 35 in March. There is a good chance that the Yankees could catch lighting in bottle. How ironic his signing would be. Considering it was Phil Hughes who the Yankees refused to send to the Twins for him. Joel Hanrahan is still recovering from surgery. He is expected to return by June or July. He was one of the top closers in baseball a couple years ago, Taking a flyer on him might pay huge dividends in the second half of the 2014 season. His closing experience maybe what the doctor ordered. Andrew Bailey, peaks my interest, he is also recovering from surgery he is suppose to be ready by May or June to return to the big leagues. He seemed destined to be a stud closer. Then the Red Sox decided to mess with him. They wanted him in the rotation, with that fastball that often touched 100 mph and higher. Quite similar to what the Yankees did to Joba Chamberlain. These two have late inning experience and become solid fall back options for Shawn Kelley and or David Robertson. Should be a no brainer to sign both of them to minor league deals with incentives.