As we implied with our Dear Santa post on Sunday night, the Yankees head into the new year with gaping holes (giggity) in their starting rotation, and questions about how much the team is willing to spend to fill those open positions. In addition, it’s been reported that the Yankees may audition the likes of David Phelps, Adam Warren, Michael Pineda, and Vidal Nuno for not only the 5th spot in the rotation, but the 4th slot too.

As it stands, we see two main problems with the rotation.

1. No depth
2. Heavy reliance on an uncertain top 3

Let’s start with #1, and the biggest point in our view. As it stands, the Yankees have Sabathia, Kuroda, and Nova set as their top 3 starters — after that we don’t know. If the Yankees stick with a combination of Phelps, Warren, Pineda, and Nuno for the 4th and 5th spots, you’re looking at an incredibly thin rotation (insert CC joke here).

Over the years, we’ve heard Brian Cashman repeatedly say “you can never have enough pitching.” This narrow assortment of starters would classify as a shortage. You have to figure at least one or two pitchers will see DL time, and there’s no immediate depth behind them. If the rotation suffers some injuries, the situation could get bad in a hurry. The club would really be living on the edge with this small selection of starters.

Regarding point #2, even the Yankees top 3 starters carry uncertainty. Sabathia is coming off his worst season ever, although we expect a rebound in 2014. Kuroda, who’s been excellent, will turn 39 in February. Ivan Nova had a breakthrough season in 2013, but can he continue along that path?

All of this means that the Yankees need to add another high-caliber pitcher to the rotation, and do so in a way that doesn’t cut off their nose to spite their face (like trading Gardner for a sub-3 WAR pitcher). The rotation desperately needs more depth, and needs a little less pressure on a questionable top 3. Is that possible? Not sure. But that’s the reality of the situation.