Though you may not realize it (and honestly I didn’t until I looked it up), Yankees’ starters currently rank 5th in the American League in fWAR and FIP, and 4th in xFIP. In the American League East, they’re first in all of those categories, and 2nd to the Rays in ERA. Though the Mariners, Angels, and White Sox are head and shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of fWAR, the Yankees are just 0.1 win behind the Athletics. And had Phil Hughes been put on the DL sooner and Bartolo Colon gotten another start or two, they’d likely be ahead of Oakland. Their 3.83 xFIP puts them in basically a tie with Chicago, Oakland, and Anaheim, behind the Mariners’ league leading 3.57 mark. Not to bad for a group consisting of a headcase, a junkballer, a rookie who can’t strike anyone out, and Fat Bartolo backing up Sabathia for most of the season.
Of course, that’s not to say there aren’t potential issues. Colon is still best regarded as an injury waiting to happen, though his rotation spot is certainly safe so long as he’s healthy. Freddy Garcia has been very easy to hit at times, and he’s probably due for some regression in the rest of the season. Ivan Nova is…well he’s Ivan Nova. And Mo only knows how much you can count on A.J. Burnett. And there’s always the possibility that someone gets hurt between now and the trade deadline.
What this means, however, is that the Yankees really aren’t desperate for starting pitching. They can search the market for potential upgrades on their terms and at their prices, rather than feeling as though they may need to overpay for a short term fix, balancing the long term interests of the roster against short term needs. Because, hard as it would have been to believe back in Spring Training, the Yankees don’t actually have a particularly large need for help in their starting rotation.
Now, about that bullpen…