The Yankees, first connected to free agent Gio Gonzalez earlier this month, have maintained interest in the left-hander, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. There is no indication the two sides are close to an agreement, however, Heyman adds. The Yankees initially showed interest in Gonzalez before ace Luis Severino went down with shoulder inflammation, and now the club knows the right-hander is likely to miss at least the first month of the season. Additionally, the Yankees will open the year without lefty C.C. Sabathia, who’s recovering from multiple offseason surgeries, though it seems he’ll make his 2019 debut before Severino.
Without Severino and Sabathia, the Yankees are set to open the season with Domingo German and Luis Cessa as their best starting options behind the Masahiro Tanaka–James Paxton–J.A. Happ trio. While the 33-year-old Gonzalez is far more proven than German and Cessa, the Yankees may not feel the need to add him or any other established hurler to their rotation if they expect Severino and Sabathia back in relatively short order. Should the Yankees spurn him, it would continue a disappointing trip to free agency for Gonzalez, who has encountered a tepid market after a strong 11-year run divided among Oakland, Washington and Milwaukee. Through 1,814 innings and 313 appearances (307 starts), Gonzalez owns a 3.69 ERA/3.63 FIP with 8.67 K/9, 3.77 BB/9 and a 47.2 percent groundball rate.
More on the Yanks…
- Outfield prospect Estevan Florial suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right wrist during Saturday’s game, the Yankees announced. It’s not yet known how much time Florial will miss, but he’ll undergo further testing Monday. Florial, who’s regarded as the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, had been enjoying an impressive spring prior to the injury. The 21-year-old slashed .355/.429/.516 in 31 exhibition at-bats, though he wasn’t in the running for a season-opening roster spot in New York. Not only are the Yankees loaded in the outfield, but Florial hasn’t gotten past the High-A level yet. Florial logged 339 plate appearances there last year, when he hit .255/.354/.361 but also missed nearly three months with a fractured hamate bone in his right hand.
- At the big league level, center fielder Aaron Hicks may open the season on the 10-day injured list, general manager Brian Cashman admitted Friday (via James Wagner of the New York Times). Regarding Hicks, who has been on the shelf throughout this month because of lower back issues, Cashman said: “We’re running out of time. We’re going to do what’s right for us in the long haul.” The Yankees made a long-term investment in Hicks, 29, less than a month ago when they signed him to a seven-year, $70MM extension. If Hicks misses the beginning of the season, New York will deploy fourth outfielder Brett Gardner in center, where he carries extensive experience.