The New York Yankees received troubling news on Monday. All-Star ace Gerrit Cole is set to undergo an MRI on his pitching elbow, per manager Aaron Boone. Cole “had difficulty” bouncing back between spring training starts.

Whatever Gerrit Cole's MRI reveals, Yankees still will be a hard no on  Blake Snell and Trevor Bauer, then turn to ... -

That would be nothing short of a catastrophic loss for the Yankees. Cole is one of the best pitchers in baseball, coming off his seventh straight top-10 finish in Cy Young voting (and his first victory). That level of consistent excellence is virtually unheard of these days. Cole has been a staple atop the Yankees’ bullpen for four years now, with three straight seasons of 30+ starts and 180+ innings pitched.

John Lothian on X: "5 Gerrit Cole replacements the Yankees can sign  immediately - FanSided" / X

All of that is in jeopardy now. As New York awaits the results of the MRI, it would be wise to keep one eye on the free agent market. We don’t know the extent of the injury yet, but elbow ailments are often complicated and problematic for pitchers. If there’s even a chance for Cole to miss extended time, expect New York to add another arm to their arsenal.

Yankees' Gerrit Cole hit hard for second straight start

This is an important season for the Yankees after their disappointing fourth-place finish in the AL East. Juan Soto is only signed for one year, folks. If the Yankees don’t push all their chips in, the whole house of cards could tumble.

Luck isn’t the right word, but the Yankees are fortunate enough to have several quality free agents still readily available deep into March. Here are five worthy targets.