Yankees miss out on top remaining free agent pitcher

mlb: alcs-texas rangers at houston astros, yankees, jordan montgomery, mets
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In a perfect world, the New York Yankees would have more money to spend to reinforce the starting rotation. With Gerrit Cole missing at least the next few months with nerve inflammation in his elbow, landing either Blake Snell or Jordan Montgomery would’ve been a perfect move for the Bombers, but they decided to pass on both starters, given their luxury tax concerns.

Snell signed with the San Francisco Giants last week, and Montgomery landed a one-year, $25 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday evening. Montgomery is coming off a World Series-winning season with the Texas Rangers but was acquired at the deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals. He pitched 188.2 innings, a career-high, and had a 3.20 ERA.

The Yankees traded him several seasons ago because they didn’t feel he would be an asset during the playoffs, but he ended up posting a 2.90 ERA over 31 postseason innings this past campaign.

On a one-year deal, it is surprising the Yankees weren’t willing to consider bringing him back, but instead, they will roll with a rotation that includes Nestor Cortes, Carlos Rodon, Marcus Stroman, Clarke Schmidt, and Luis Gil. Of course, they anticipate Cole returning at some point over the next two or three months, but they will have to survive without him until then, and other injuries could pop up.

The Yankees Don’t Have Many Options to Add Pitching if Needed

Unless general manager Brian Cashman looks to the trade market to find another starter, the free agent list has boiled down to nothing. The Yankees will roll into the regular season with their current group, and they are expecting big bounce-back performances from Cortes and Rodon.

Already sitting at the $300 million luxury tax threshold, anything the Yankees spend further will have a 110% tax. That would’ve meant paying over $50 million to sign Montgomery, and owner Hal Steinbrenner clearly drew a red line in the sand there. If only the Yankees weren’t still paying Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson, additional moves might’ve been more probable.

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