Yankees could lose out on all top starting pitching options

mlb: washington nationals at new york yankees, brian cashman
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

It is no secret that the New York Yankees desperately need more starting pitching, especially if it means bringing in a proven MLB commodity to boost their 2024 World Series aspirations. We’ve heard the connections to Jordan Montgomery, but rumors are now indicating that the Texas Rangers are the favorites to bring him back after winning the World Series this past year.

Other reports have suggested the Yankees could make a push for Blake Snell, especially after Gerrit Cole gave him his vote of confidence. Snell is 31 years old and is coming off an NL Cy Young award-winning season, whereas Cole won the AL Cy Young award. They would have a tantalizing 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation, but there are long-term concerns for Snell, notably his stamina and ability to stay healthy.

General manager Brian Cashman knows he needs to get a deal done, whether it be via the free agent market or the trade market. According to NJ.com, there is a belief that Montgomery will go back to the Rangers and that the Yankees could walk away from the pitching market with an empty hand.

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The Yankees Shouldn’t Overspend Out of Desperation

Acquiring Corbin Burnes or Dylan Cease would be costly, forcing Cashman to spend a significant amount of prospect capital. Having already sent a considerable number of pitchers to acquire Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, it is safe to say he would like to hold onto some of his younger talent. Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians makes sense, but he’s coming off of a down year and will be a free agent in 2025.

Ultimately, this upcoming season may come down to the Yankees relying on some of their own players to bounce back. Carlos Rodon needs to have a good 2024, Nestor Cortes should be ready to go following a season plagued by a left rotator cuff strain, and Clarke Schmidt enjoyed his first full season as a starter. There’s also an expectation that Will Warren will step into a competitive role, helping to reinforce the rotation or offer support out of the bullpen.

Losing Michael King in the Soto deal certainly hurt, but the Yankees wouldn’t let a pitcher who barely made any appearances as a starter get in the way of acquiring a Hall of Fame-level bat at 25 years old. It did leave the Yanks with a major need, and while they were confident in signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto, he ended up securing a $325 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Yankees haven’t spent a dollar in free agency this off-season, and Cashman knows the team needs reinforcements. The market is dwindling, especially if Montgomery comes off the board. Scott Boras represents Snell, and his contract demands are lofty, so the Yankees may be waiting for those numbers to come down a bit into a more stable range.