Yankees ‘don’t really love’ top international free agent pitcher, $100 million price tag too much

Baseball: World Baseball Classic - Championship-Japan vs USA, shota imanaga, yankees
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are still scouring the market for free agent pitching support, referenced by Jeff Passan of ESPN on Wednesday morning, who indicated they are still interested in reuniting with Jordan Montgomery.

Montgomery remains one of the top available options, and while the Yankees wouldn’t hate bringing him back, the price tag may be significant. General manager Brian Cashman would have to be OK buying high with Montgomery coming off a career season and winning a World Series with the Texas Rangers.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

The Yankees Have Other Options to Consider

However, previous reports had indicated that they had a potential interest in international prospect Shota Imanaga, but that intrigue is dissipating, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. In fact, Heyman suggested that the Yankees are losing interest in Imanaga, notably because of his flyball issues and his profile in Yankee Stadium being a bit concerning.

Imanaga pitched 159 innings with Yokohama this past season at 29 years old. He finished with a 2.66 ERA, giving up 47 runs and 18 homers with 188 strikeouts. Given the fact that he’s a lefty, he certainly would fit the bill for the Yankees’ need, but with short porches in the Bronx, there is concern he would represent more of a liability than a solution.

If Imanaga is looking for a deal upward of $100 million, the Yankees are better off spending a bit more on Montgomery, who limits walks and home runs, generating weaker contact with proven MLB stuff. Nonetheless, Heyman also reported that the Texas Rangers remain the favorites to bring back Jordan, so the Yankees may have to look to the trade market to solve their desperate need for a starting pitcher.