Yankees are falling behind the Dodgers after another blockbuster trade

mlb: new york yankees at los angeles dodgers, anthony volpe
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees know they desperately need to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto if they want to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers and their explosive off-season moves. While securing the services of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo should support a much more competent Yankee offense in 2024, the Dodgers didn’t just get better, they locked in long-term assets that will keep them at the pinnacle of baseball for years to come.

The Yankees landed Soto and Verdugo on one-year deals, meaning they will have to extend them beyond the 2024 season. Soto will certainly land a monster contract, but the Yankees can replace Verdugo with Jasson Dominguez once he’s fully recovered from Tommy John surgery.

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The Yankees Face Fierce Competition on All Fronts from the Dodgers

However, the Dodgers landed Shohei Ohtani on a 10-year contract, deferring $680 million, opening up a significant amount of salary to spend on other players. At just 29 years old, Ohtani is expected to feature as an offensive piece next year but won’t pitch, having undergone Tommy John surgery himself. Adding a bat that slashed .304/.412/.654, including 44 homers and 95 RBIs across 135 games, certainly promotes an elite LA offense.

Of course, the Yankees now have Soto and his Hall of Fame-level bat at 25 years old. He hit .275/.410/.519, including 35 home runs and 109 RBIs in 2023. His numbers are phenomenal, but even Ohtani dwarfs his talent. The Dodgers didn’t stop there, though, acquiring Tyler Glasnow from the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

The 30-year-old pitcher is on a one-year deal that will expire after next season, but he’s a quality starter who helps build out their rotation. Last season, he pitched a career-high 120 innings, including a 3.53 ERA, 12.15 strikeouts per nine, a 70% left-on-base rate, and an incredible 51.2% ground ball rate. He’s a high-velocity pitcher, and the Dodgers are still in on the Yamamoto sweepstakes, which would undoubtedly give them the best team in baseball.

The truth is, general manager Brian Cashman can’t let Los Angeles acquire the Japanese star pitcher since it would give them a major advantage. Cashman just leveraged most of his pitching prospects to acquire Soto for one year, meaning he can’t stop there if he wants to take advantage of that move. The Yanks need another elite starting arm, and Yamamoto fits the bill perfectly.