Yankees cancel pitching trade as $324M star goes, needing depth 

Before the season, New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole had an elbow injury, further depleting the pitching staff.

Cole, who is entering his fifth year of a $324 million contract, is expected to miss at least June 1, requiring the Yankees to add pitching depth. Luis Gil, 25, 

was named the rotation's fifth starter to start the season, and the team traded with the Pirates for $2.75 million right-hander JT Brubaker as a backup. 

After Tommy John surgery in April 2023, Brubaker should return midseason. According to MLB.com, the Pirates sent the Yankees international signing bonus money for a player to be identified later. 

In three seasons with the Pirates, Brubaker has thrown 315.2 innings with a 4.99 ERA and 324 strikeouts. He had a 4.69 ERA in 28 games as the Pirates' Opening Day starter in 2022, his last healthy season. 

Although those figures aren't promising, the Yankees may be able to help him improve his arsenal and become a starting or bullpen option. 

Estevao Maximo wrote for Pinstripe Alley, “Working on some changes in the spring 2023 prior to his injury, Brubaker had 15 punchouts in only 8 frames, enough to make you look at what was different “It's not far-fetched to project the 

Yankees' working with him on the optimization of a sweeper, a pitch better suited for his profile than the curve that worked well in a short sample.” Brubaker's contract gives the Yankees flexibility to make this deal low-risk.


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