Yankees might still be looking to add pitching according to MLB insider

MLB: General Manager's Meetings
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Following the trade for Clayton Andrews and the signing of Lou Trivino, the New York Yankees might not be done making additions to their pitching staff. Andy Martino of SNY says that he ‘has the sense’ that the team is still looking for pitching, and with some notable arms still available on the trade and free agent markets, we could see them swoop in and make a last-minute acquisition. They’ve shown interest in free agents like Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery, although those conversations haven’t gone anywhere, and they’re reportedly still open to trading for Dylan Cease.

Whatever they decide to do, it could be an interesting final weeks before Spring Training games begin, as the Yankees look to make a splash to round out their offseason.

Yankees Could Still Add More Pitching

MLB: New York Yankees at Chicago White Sox, dylan cease
Aug 7, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease (84) pitches in the first inning against the New York Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees could still use another starter, as they have plenty of question marks surrounding their rotation from an injury standpoint. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Yankees are ‘still open’ to trading for Dylan Cease, who finished second in the Cy Young voting back in 2022. His arsenal is undeniably excellent, and the upside is that he could be a co-ace alongside Gerrit Cole, who is the reigning American League Cy Young winner. Don’t expect to see Spencer Jones involved in any trades, however, as they’re reportedly reluctant to move him.

Chicago might just hang onto Cease if they don’t get Spencer Jones in a package from the Yankees, and since the Baltimore Orioles acquired Corbin Burnes, he may stay put for now. The White Sox can always revisit trade conversations at the deadline when more suitors can emerge, as they still have two years of control over the 27-year-old. Some other targets the Yankees could look at include Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians, who has just one year remaining on his contract and could cost a lot less on the trade market.

mlb: milwaukee brewers at cleveland guardians, shane bieber, yankees
Jun 23, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) walks off the field after giving up a three run home run during the sixth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Shane Bieber showed off some added velocity at the Driveline facility this winter after posting the worst FIP (3.87) and strikeout rate (20.1%) of his MLB career last year. He still had an above-average ERA (3.80), but he only tossed 128 innings after dealing with shoulder elbow issues during the season. If the velocity gains stick, he could return to his Cy Young form and put up some of the best numbers in the American League. Even with diminished velocity in 2022, the right-hander had a 2.88 ERA across 200 innings, making two brilliant playoff starts as well.

On the free-agent market, Jordan Montgomery and Blake Snell both remain on the market, but the issue stems from the Yankees’ $300 million payroll. The tax threshold they’re in means that any dollar committed to the 2024 payroll is charged double in the final bill, so if the Yankees pay Blake Snell $30 million a season for seven years, that will run Hal Steinbrenner $60 million in payroll. Snell also has the qualifying offer attached to him and would cost the Yankees some draft compensation.

mlb: wildcard-texas rangers at tampa bay rays, jordan montgomery, yankees
Oct 3, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (52) reacts after striking out Tampa Bay Rays pinch hitter Junior Caminero (1) to end the seventh inning during game one of the Wildcard series for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Neitzel-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Montgomery has no clear suitors, as it seems the Texas Rangers have settled in free agency, and the left-hander might find himself in uncomfortable territory heading into the Spring. He doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached and perhaps might be more open to a one-year deal given the fact that he isn’t coming off a Cy Young season like the aforementioned Snell.

It should be noted that if the Yankees could land one of these two pitchers on a short-term deal, it’s likely that other teams would be involved (and perhaps more aggressive), so don’t assume that it’s as simple as offering either arm a one-year deal with a high salary. Everything is pretty fluid right now, but I don’t imagine the Yankees will make another long-term commitment, so how this ends up playing out remains a mystery.

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