Yankees are ‘talking’ with familiar left-handed starter, according to insider

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Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

While the New York Yankees are likely done in free agency, they might be looking into the free agent market to find some depth as they get closer to Opening Day. Gerrit Cole’s injury did not change the Yankees’ mind on acquiring Blake Snell, as they were not willing to push it with the fourth tier of the luxury tax and potentially pay over $60 million for the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Since the Yankees have a tight budget, it’s been hard to imagine that they would spend big money in the coming weeks, but Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports that they’ve been talking with Jordan Montgomery.

A big gap exists between the two sides, and all rational thought would tell us that this won’t come to fruition, but it’ll be interesting to see in the coming days if this report is a way to entice another team to land the World Series winner.

Jordan Montgomery and Yankees Have Been in Contact, Gap Still Exists

MLB: World Series-Texas Rangers at Arizona Diamondbacks
Nov 1, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) celebrates defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the World Series in game five of the 2023 World Series at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at the financial situation with the New York Yankees, there’s not a realistic path for them to end up as the highest bidders for Jordan Montgomery. The market has fallen for him, and we can see that based on the fact that the NL Cy Young Award winner just got a two-year deal, but his situation is much different. Unlike Snell, there isn’t a Qualifying Offer hindering Montgomery’s market, and this is probably his best chance at landing a long-term deal. With that being said, there is a loop hole that he can take to remain without it next winter as well.

As long as Jordan Montgomery signs a deal after Opening Day (March 28th), then he can enter free agency after 2024 and still not be tagged with the QO, assuming he takes a one-year deal or opts out of one. All of this is to say that there’s a world where Montgomery could benefit from the same short-term situation as Blake Snell, but the question remains with how this could affect the Yankees’ thoughts on signing him. Sure, it would certainly help their rotation and give them more stability after the injury to Gerrit Cole, but they’re still not likely to pay that kind of money.

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MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees
Jul 31, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

While some reports suggested that the Yankees were involved as late as Sunday on Blake Snell, others would suggest that they never had a chance at him. Perhaps Montgomery’s market is crashing that badly or maybe the Yankees are doing their due diligence, but things don’t seem to add up on that front. It could just be a report leaked to help garner interest in his market, creating an urgency for teams like the Red Sox or Rangers to get their bids in now, which we’ve seen before with Scott Boras clients.

If the Yankees were to add a starter, it seems as if Michael Lorenzen would be the likelier option as he’s extremely cheap and could be a backend starter for them. There’s no denying that Jordan Montgomery, who posted a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts last year, would greatly boost this rotation, but the Yankees seem firm on their stance that this is the team they’ll have on Opening Day. The move that we could see them make is perhaps landing a utility infielder, especially with DJ LeMahieu’s status for Opening Day in question.

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