Where They Currently Stand
(2012-16) 5 Years/$122M +1-Year Option; 2014 Salary: $23M
No surprises here.
CC Sabathia is the undeniable ace of the Yankees staff and is likely to continue his role as the No. 1 starter. The looming question is whether the big lefty will rebound from a disappointing 2013 season, his 13th in MLB. His 14-13 record doesn't tell the full story as he posted a stellar 175-65 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
But CC put up a career-worst 4.78 ERA, he surrendered 112 earned runs, 28 home runs and he gave up 224 hits in 211 innings.
The picture becomes darker when you consider his three-year decline since 2011.
His FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching;"average" around 4.00), which measures what his ERA should have been given league-average performance on balls in play, increased from 2.88 in 2011 to 3.33 in 2012 and to 4.10 in 2013. His WAR (Wins Above Replacement; "MVP-caliber" around 6+, "All-Star" 4-5, "role player" 1-2) dipped from 6.5 in 2011 to 4.6 in 2012 to 2.7 in 2013.
Need something more visual? Sabathia, who came under much discussion for the effects of his weight loss on his performance, saw a decline in the velocity of his fastball from 93.9 mph in 2011 to 92.4 in 2012 and 91.3 in 2013.
For a workhorse like CC who dealt with elbow issues, and at season's end, a hamstring injury, these downwardly trending figures and his age could be cause for concern.
(2013) 1 Year/$575,600; 2014: Arbitration-Eligible
The 23-year-old right-handed Dominican completed his third full season in the Bronx (seven starts in 2010).
Coming off a 2013 season in which he started 20 games, went 9-6, posted a 3.10 ERA and a 116-44 strikeout-to-walk rate, Nova should earn a nice payday in arbitration and stay with the Yankees.
2011 was a strong breakout season as he went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 2.4 WAR and his BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) was .283. He pitched a career-high 170.1 innings in 2012, went 12-8 and saw his ERA jump to 5.02 and FIP increase to 4.60. In 2013, he posted both his lowest ERA and FIP, a good sign moving forward.
With Pettitte retired, Phil Hughes signed by the Minnesota Twins and an offer on the table for Hiroki Kuroda, Nova currently represents the No. 2 spot in the 2014 rotation.
Barring Kuroda signing and the Bombers landing Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka, we have (promptly) reached the end of the confirmed starting pitching depth chart.
David Phelps, Michael Pineda, Adam Warren and David Huff
These players round out the current crop of potential starting pitchers currently on the Yankees' 40-man roster.
Players They Are Targeting
(2013) 1 Year/$15M; 2014: Free Agent
The 38-year-old Kuroda rejected the Yankees' $14.1 million qualifying offer prior to free agency, though, according to ESPN New York on Monday, they have made a one-year offer for 2014 (figure is unknown).
In 2013 he posted an 11-13 record and 3.31 ERA in 32 starts. In 201.1 innings, he compiled a 150-43 strikeout-to-walk rate, a 3.56 FIP and a 3.8 WAR.
Unfortunately for the Yanks, Kuroda appears to be in limbo between the Bronx, Japan and retirement.
The Yankees would hope to have a front end of Sabathia and Kuroda, followed by Nova and ultimately, the next pitcher in this discussion.
Rakuten Golden Eagles, Japan's Pacific League
The key words here are "posting fee."
It appears only big-market clubs like the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are willing to pay Rakuten the posting fee in order to acquire the 25-year-old split-finger phenom (Yu Darvish's posting fee was $51.7 million).
The good news for the Yankees is that the fee does not count against the luxury tax.
New York would be sitting pretty with Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova and Tanaka for 2014. The barriers are the other bidders and the potential that Rakuten could decide against posting him.
In 27 starts a season ago, Tanaka was 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA. He struck out 183, walked 32 and surrendered six home runs in 212 innings. According to the Daily News, he lost one game—Game 6 of the Japan Series—and threw 160 pitches. The following night he closed out the clincher.
The same article reports a scout who said Tanaka hits 97 mph with his fastball—his best pitch—and possesses an arsenal including a curve, slider, changeup, cutter and splitter.
Oakland Athletics (2010-14) 5 Years/$20.5M + 1-Year Option; Arbitration Eligible
For over a month, the 25-year-old southpaw has been mentioned in Oakland trade discussions.
On Tuesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote that the Yankees are among multiple teams interested in trading for Anderson, with a deal likely ensuing come the Winter Meetings.
He has battled injury over three seasons and comes as a high risk, though the corresponding low cost is appealing to a team like New York. Given the Yankees have a fair amount of uncertainty about the rotation already, it is unclear whether they would risk Anderson's continued health.
He owns a career 3.81 ERA in 84 appearances with 73 starts. In 2010, his last full season, he pitched 112.1 innings, posted a 2.80 ERA, 112 hits, six home runs, 3.21 FIP and 2.4 WAR.