Yankees lose out on another top free agent pitcher

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The Blake Snell sweepstakes ended last week when he signed a two-year, $62 million deal with the San Francisco Giants. This left the Yankees to look elsewhere on the free-agent market to help supplement the loss of Gerrit Cole over the next few months.

Reports had indicated that the Yankees connected with former Detroit and Philadelphia starter Michael Lorenzen, who tossed 153 innings this past season between the two teams. He hosted a 4.18 ERA, including a 69.8% left-on-base rate and 41% ground rate.

Obviously, he is far from the production that Cole provides and has much less talent than Snell, but they clearly don’t have an interest in paying a substantial price tag, given the 110% luxury tax they have to pay on top of any salary.

The Yankees Have a Price Range They Don’t Want to Push Beyond

The Yankees were unwilling to push beyond $30 million for Snell, who landed $31 million with an opt-out after the 2024 season with the Giants. However, the Yankees are down to Jordan Montgomery as the final arm on the market, with Lorenzen inking a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Texas Rangers.

At that price, the Yankees should’ve considered bringing Lorenzen since, at the very least, he would’ve been a solid multi-relief arm and good supplementary starter who’s coming off one of his best seasons. Simply adding more depth isn’t a bad move.

Still, general manager Brian Cashman has opened up conversations once again with Montgomery, who was rumored to be returning to Texas but doesn’t seem to be any longer. Montgomery is also 31 years old, the same age as Snell, and is coming off a World Series-winning season with Texas. Over 188.2 innings, Montgomery had a 3.20 ERA with a 75.6% left-on-base rate and 43.2% ground ball rate.

The pitching market has dried up significantly over the past few weeks, so Montgomery may have to settle for a similar contract to that of Snell, a short-term deal with an opt-out next year, meaning the Yankees may be within that price range to secure his services.

In the meantime, management will likely look to some of their younger options to help fill the gaps, notably Will Warren and Luis Gil, who have both looked solid during sprint training.

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