Gerrit Cole unlikely for Yankees' Opening Day, regardless of MRI results

The New York Yankees are anxiously awaiting the results of Gerrit Cole's MRI. But even if it comes back clean, the right-hander is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

2024 New York Yankees Spring Training
2024 New York Yankees Spring Training / New York Yankees/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees got some bad news on Monday when it was announced that right-hander and reigning American League Cy Young Gerrit Cole was headed for an MRI on his right elbow.

Cole was subsequently shut down and things are already looking bleak for the Bronx Bombers.

On Tuesday, Bryan Hoch, who covers the Yankees for MLB.com, provided an update on Cole on Tuesday. According to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, the current timeline is going to make it difficult for Cole to be ready for Opening Day.

The Yankees will open the season at Minute Maid Park against the Houston Astros, who have had their number over the past several seasons.

Gerrit Cole likely out for Opening Day

This is not good news for the Yankees.

Beyond Cole, their rotation is pretty thin. There are question marks surrounding Nestor Cortes and Carlos Rodon. The same can be said for Marcus Stroman, who has battled injuries over the past few seasons.

And so, the Yankees may be forced to dip their toes in the waters of free agency once again. If Cole is out for an extended period of time, then the Yankees will have no choice but to do so.

New York could target former Yankee Jordan Montgomery, who remains unsigned. Blake Snell is also an option. They might even be able to swing a trade for Dylan Cease, but that will certainly cost them some top-level prospects.

This is ultimately the last thing the Yankees needed to happen, especially after missing the postseason in 2023 and barely finishing over .500.

New York needs their ace to be healthy if they want to bounce back in 2024, and without Cole, their task becomes much harder in an AL East division that already consists of the reigning division champion Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays, and Toronto Blue Jays.

We'll see how Cole recovers, but even if he avoids the injured list, his chances of starting Opening Day in Houston appear to be slim,

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