It has been said that the Yankees are more into mid-tier free agents than the elite ones when it comes to filling out the rotation. Brandon McCarthy made perfect sense for them, but a four-year deal proved to be too long of a commitment for them. Now that the Dodgers have signed him and the Yankees are left with no elite starter to go after besides Max Scherzer, the team needs to look toward the non-tender pitchers that are available on the open market if they want to add affordable talent.
The Braves non-tendered a pair of formidable starting pitchers in Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen this offseason. Both missed the 2014 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and though they might miss the beginning of the 2015, they should be ready to go fairly soon. Beachy, under team control for the next two year, has a 3.23 ERA and 3.34 FIP as a starter across four seasons. As a 28-year-old he has struck out 9.25 batters per nine innings, while maintaining a solid 2.89 walks per nine.The biggest setback would be his injury history, which includes Tommy John surgery in 2012 and then again in 2014. You would like to think he's healthy from here, but as we've seen before, the third time can happen, and in such a short period of time you have to wonder how his elbow is going to hold up.
Independent of Beachy, Kris Medlen is also looking for employment after being non-tendered by the Braves. He is under team control for the 2015 season and has maintained a 2.95 ERA and 3.23 FIP between the bullpen and the rotation. Another two-time Tommy John survivor, it seems that Medlen could be useful no matter where he is ultimately used by the Yankees. For the 29-year-old, a majority of his career was spent in the bullpen, so if the Yankees feel he is better off as a reliever, he should be able to return from injury faster and contribute to the team sooner.
Neither players are likely to light the world on fire at this juncture in their careers, but signing one, or even both of them, should go a long way in determining their starting pitching depth for the 2015 season. Right now the Scranton rotation consists of Bryan Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, and Zach Nuding, and from there the Yankees could add Beachy and Medlen for the time being and give the organization some much-needed depth. If the Yankees add someone like Hiroki Kuroda and then allow David Phelps to begin the year in the rotation, they could have one of Beachy/Medlen in the rotation by May.
It might not sound like much, and at this point in their careers it likely doesn't, but the Yankees need to add some kind of depth and they seem to be all out of options from here. Unless they sign Max Scherzer or come up with a trade for Cole Hamels or Doug Fister, the Yankees will be seriously lacking rotation depth and Beachy or Medlen could come in handy.