With the retirement of CC Sabathia, the Yankees could replace his spot in the rotation with another veteran left-hander, Cole Hamels.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been hearing it from Yankees fans for seasons now. He needs to go out and get a starting pitcher. As Cashman is always thinking about the future, he tends to spend most of his money on hitting. Most of the moves he has made have been trade acquisitions such as Luke Voit, Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, and Edwin Encarnacion. They proved to be significant contributors for the Yankees in 2019. Cole Hamels has the potential to be a solid contributor upcoming in 2020.
Having too much depth is a great problem to have. For the Yankees purposes, signing veteran lefty, Cole Hamels is the move.
Hamels had a bumpy second half of the 2019 season for the Chicago Cubs before injuring his oblique before the All Star break. However, he was pitching terrific, like an ace. In his first 17 starts, he threw for a 2.98 ERA and struck out nine batters per nine innings. Since he has gotten older, Hamels has discovered a strikeout changeup because his velocity has decreased. He can also throw a 12-to-6 curveball for a strike.
Hamels reinvented his career with the Cubs after being traded from the Texas Rangers in 2018. He was traded during a pennant race and showed his former Philly self by posting a 2.36 ERA. With the Rangers he had a 4.72 ERA while giving up 23 homers. His change up was not a force and he had troubles with location.
Hamels fits perfectly in the Yankees rotation. James Paxton had a good year and shined in the postseason, Domingo German was impressive, and Masahiro Tanaka had a Tanaka kind of year. The Yankees missed their ace Luis Severino heavily during the season, and J.A. Happ did not pitch to his abilities. Also, C.C. Sabathia had a disappointing season with injuries.
The Yankees should try to sign Hamels to a Happ like contract. In the realm of two years and $30 million. Having Hamels in the rotation gives manager Aaron Boone more options and flexibility. Having Hamles bring a veteran presence to the clubhouse as Sabathia is all set and retired.
Hamels could quite be an under the radar signing. After a disappointing second half, his value has declined and there are going to be teams that are not willing to pay the veteran lefty. This decision lays in the hands of Cashman. If the Yanks go the Gerrit Cole route, then the Hamels scenario would be a fantasy. If Cashman is trying to stay under the luxury tax as he has in previous seasons, then Hamels is the right guy to sign.