Getting back the aforementioned two is big for the Yankees, because they brought back two of the top talent starters on the market on their own terms (one year deals in preparation for $189 million luxury tax threshold in 2014). Additionally, the starting pitching free agent market was dwindling down. Some of the more affordable and short-term options like Scott Feldman and Scott Baker are off the board, while upper echelon guys like Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and Edwin Jackson are certainly out of their price range. Others have injury questions, like Dan Haren and Brandon McCarthy. Ultimately, the Yankees got just what they wanted: two guys they know well for the price they desired.
That rotation is right up there with the best in the American League. Sabathia is a bonafide ace, Kuroda proved he could pitch in the American League, and Pettitte seems to get better with age. Sure, Hughes gives up a lot of home run balls, but not many teams have a better fourth starter than Phil.
Is age a concern for Kuroda and Pettitte? Sure. Kuroda, 38 in February, threw the most innings of his career last season. Pettitte may be 40, but he showed no signs of concern during 2012. His fractured ankle was not because of age or poor conditioning, it was pure bad luck. The Yankees have dealt with age for years, and are certainly going to bring rotation depth for 2013. They have six starters as of now, and will have seven if Pineda shows anything. Plus, Joel Sherman of the New York Post expects the Yankees to sign another veteran for rotation depth, similar to what they did with Freddy Garcia last season. Odds are it won’t be Garcia again, but it’ll certainly be someone on a one year deal looking to prove himself. Perhaps someone along the lines of Jason Marquis.