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Ask Pinstripe Alley 1/13/17: Should the Yankees bring back CC Sabathia in 2018?

What role will Rob Refsnyder have on the team this year?

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

TommyJohn asked: Assuming we don’t get Quintana, are there any scrap heap comeback candidate pitchers you’d be pulling for the Yankees to grab?

At this point, the rotation is so shaky that I’d be okay with the Yankees signing just about any of the pitchers left out there to a one-year deal (and anyone to a minor league deal). Guys like Brett Anderson, C.J. Wilson, and Jon Niese will likely sign cheap deals since they have dealt with injuries recently.

Sure, the Yankees have enough pitchers to put together a rotation. However, I’m not sure that it is wise for the Yankees to count on filling a minimum of two spots in the rotation with a mixture of Bryan Mitchell, Chad Green, Luis Severino, Luis Cessa, and Adam Warren. It looks like that might be what they are stuck with since Brian Cashman said that he thinks the roster is set, though.

Mark S asked: If CC Sabathia can win 10-14 games and run a 4.00 ERA, do the Yankees offer him a 1-year contract around $10m for 2018? And will he be the next Andy Pettitte/Hiroki Kuroda?

Considering that the Yankees’ 2018 rotation currently consists of zero pitchers, I would say yes. Michael Pineda will become a free agent after the 2017 season, and Masahiro Tanaka can opt out of his contract following the 2017 season. Unless Sabathia’s knee is absolutely done, it is likely that he will want to keep pitching after this year. If he can repeat last year’s performance then the Yankees wouldn’t really have anything to lose by bringing him back if he’ll take a cheap contract.

As for the second question, if you’re asking if I think Sabathia can still be a successful pitcher when he is in his late 30s and early 40s, I would probably say no. Pitching-wise, he was headed in the right direction last year, but I don’t think his knee will last five more years.

BR asked: What kind of value do guys like Aaron Judge, Severino and Jorge Mateo have around the Majors? Could they be moved for a talent like Mike Trout if the Yanks added maybe a Cessa, Green or Mitchell?

A package like that definitely would not be enough to net Mike Trout. Severino really struggled last season, and Judge hit well in the minors, but had a rough go of things after he was promoted. There are high hopes for Mateo, but he is still just in High-A. Cessa, Green or Mitchell don’t push the package over the top. The Angels would want more.

Hypernot asked: Does anybody see a role for Rob Refsnyder on the Yanks? He seems like a good guy with a solid bat, but I do not see a logical place for him to fit in here. His inability to play shortstop or center field would appear to limit his role as a "super utility" type guy. Perhaps if they get rid of Starlin Castro, but that seems unlikely.

I would agree that there appears to be no spot for Refsnyder. His only real chance of making the team would be to earn a bench spot, but he doesn’t really play any of the positions the Yankees have tried him at particularly well. Ronald Torreyes is expected to stick around since he can fill in at shortstop. Ref may end up competing with Tyler Austin during spring training, but of the two, Austin played better during his stint in the majors last year, so he should have the advantage. The Yankees should be taking offers for Refsnyder.