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Yankees Mailbag: Rotation concerns, lockout fallout, and first baseman values

The mailbag is back for another round of answering your questions.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Good afternoon everyone, it’s time for another edition of the mailbag. From here on out, the mailbag will be running every two weeks, due to a slower amount of information trickling in and a lack of action going on. Without further ado, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our (bi)weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

SJComic asks: Right now, Yankee rotation is Cole Severino Taillon Montgomery Loáisiga? With German and Schmidt for depth? I have to think they add at least one starter since Severino is coming back from TJS and Taillon is still coming back too right? Who would you think the Yankees go after?

I don’t think Loáisiga is in the conversation for the rotation at all anymore, he has solidified his place in the backend of the bullpen. That puts German in the fifth starter role, with Luis Gil and Schmidt as the primary depth options. The pitching market is tough to fit with the Yankees’ methodology of late, namely the trade market where the most value could be gained. The biggest targets are going to cost too much against the team’s plans for the future, so a short-term signing like Carlos Rodon makes more sense. Should pitching have been a bigger priority when there where better pitching candidates available via free agency? Perhaps, but the team decided to wait out the CBA talks before committing to any significant moves, so there’s no point rehashing old grievances.

The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: If the lockout delays the season, Yankee prospects on the 40 man roster lose even more valuable development time. Which Yankee prospect, currently on the 40 man roster could be hurt the most missing this time? Yoendrys Gomez, Luis Gil, Luis Medina, Oswaldo Cabrera, Everson Pereira, or Oswald Peraza?

And while many of us see Peraza potentially in the Bronx at some point in 2022, could a missed half season make that less likely? And, is there any chance that if the season is halved, Anthony Volpe springboards ahead of Peraza to the majors first?

On the first issue, it would be easy to say that Peraza loses out the most since he’s the highest-rated prospect of this bunch. However, since the development of pitching prospects is such a hit-or-miss field, I’d choose Gil on the basis of him being the best pitcher the organization has in the minors currently. He’s close to the majors and needs to stick the landing in order to stay as a starter — which is certainly within his reach, but a delayed start stymies that quite a bit.

If we were to assume that the season is actually delayed for roughly half the year, I could see a world where Volpe leapfrogs Peraza like you’ve described, because Volpe’s biggest hurdle to the majors is right in front of him starting at Double-A. As it is though, I don’t see the season being pushed that far down the road to warrant worrying about this scenario. Volpe is expected to make significant progress this year — many scouting reports can see him being the top prospect in baseball by the start of next year — so while Peraza has a head start in the race to the majors, the timeline between the two is already narrow at best.

MSP Giant asks: What’s a fair assessment of Voit’s trade value? Related to that … what’s a fair assessment of Rizzo’s value to Yankees? I read conflicting reports.

It’s hard to get into specifics with trade value for a player that we don’t know who is interested in yet, but Voit’s value on the trade market would be moderate most likely. He represents a strong bat for a National League team looking to deepen their lineup now that the universal DH is coming, but it’s unlikely that a team would dish out a top-100 prospect for him. The injury history, combined with the inflexibility of Voit’s defensive capabilities, simply limits the return too much.

Rizzo, meanwhile, raises the Yankees’ floor over fielding Voit due to his skill as a defender and his more consistent availability — but he doesn’t have the ceiling that Voit does offensively at this point in his career. Because of this, Rizzo is a solid insurance option that the Yankees could turn to if they find a solid trade partner, but otherwise shouldn’t prioritize once the free agent market returns. MLBTR projected Rizzo to get a three-year, $45 million deal at the start of winter, and it’s hard to argue he could earn much more than that, which would be a fair deal if the Yankees went that route.