The New York Yankees face pressing decisions about their starting rotation as the off-season nears. With Luis Severino and Frankie Montas set to become free agents after the 2023 season, and the probable release of Domingo German due to another alcohol-related incident, there’s much to ponder for the Yankees’ front office.
General Manager Brian Cashman certainly possesses both the financial muscle and the acumen to snag another top-tier pitcher. But diving into a bidding frenzy for a sensation like Yoshinobu Yamamoto might not be on his agenda. Instead, a more economical strategy might be in the offing, possibly leading to a reunion with Montas, who barely touched the mound for the Yankees this year.
Montas: A Risk Worth Taking for the Yankees?
The Yankees’ acquisition of Montas from the Oakland Athletics was marred by a shoulder injury he carried along. After being side-lined during the postseason and subsequent surgery that cut short his 2023 campaign, Montas’ stint with the Bombers appeared ill-fated. The right-hander, however, had posted an impressive 3.18 ERA over 104.2 innings with Oakland. Now, the Yankees stand at a crossroads: Offer Montas a one-year lifeline or redirect the $7.5 million luxury tax salary elsewhere.
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Given the somewhat sparse market for starting pitchers, if the Yanks are hesitant about vying for Yamamoto, then Montas might be their best budget-friendly option. They still boast of established names like Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodon, Nestor Cortés, Clarke Schmidt, and Michael King in their ranks. Moreover, there’s palpable excitement about Drew Thorpe, a young arm who recently showcased his prowess at Double-A, recording a stellar 1.48 ERA over 30.1 innings.
A Bright Future or Immediate Star Power?
While the club has intriguing prospects and seasoned players, they lack that immediate star power in their rotation. Yamamoto, a prodigious talent from overseas, encapsulates precisely what the Yankees might need. Only 25, with a commendable track record of durability, he’s the ideal fit. The only puzzle remains: Can the Yankees meet his potential price tag?