If the New York Yankees truly want to improve their roster, they’re going to have to open up their checkbook and pay for it. Last off-season, they inked Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million deal, and that is not even to mention Aaron Judge’s six-year, $360 million deal.
There’s no question the Yankees have dropped the hammer when it comes to paying star players, and while Judge was phenomenal when healthy, Rodon struggled considerably to carry his weight, suffering multiple injuries that derailed his 2023 season.
However, the Yankees are planning to elevate several prospects, keeping costs down and supporting their future endeavors. Options like Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Jasson Dominguez, and Austin Wells all playing will aid the cost-cutting narrative, which should open up more funding for the Yankees to make a big splash on a pitcher like Yoshinobu Yamamoto.
The 25-year-old Japanese star is expected to garner significant interest this off-season from multiple teams, notably the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, and San Francisco Giants. According to The Athletic, Yamamoto wants to pitch in a big market, but the Yankees will have to outbid the Dodgers, who currently have their sights set on the young starter.
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The Yankees Would Improve Drastically With Yoshinobu Yamamoto
This past season, Yamamoto pitched 171 total innings, including 164 in the JPPL with the Orix Buffaloes. He hosted a 1.21 ERA, allowing 117 hits, including 22 earned runs, two homers, and striking out 169 batters. Yamamoto has an incredible array of pitches that he can utilize, and most believe he will transition to the MLB seamlessly.
The truth is that Gerrit Cole is getting older, and while he’s about to win a Cy Young award in the American League, the Yankees need to think about the future of the organization and who will take over his mantle once age catches up. He still has a few years left of dominant performance. Creating an elite trio of Cole, Rodon, and Yamamoto would go a long way toward helping the Yankees during postseason play. Of course, pitching wasn’t necessarily the problem in 2023, it was the offense.
The Yankees have the financial flexibility to make a strong push for Yamamoto, which may cost around $200 million. Acquiring a superstar like Juan Soto would help completely revitalize the organization and turn things around, and both players not only want to plan a big market but are open to the idea of pitching on the East Coast.
For players looking for brand recognition, there’s no better place to play than New York. The Mets offloading both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander opens up the possibility of them spending big this upcoming off-season, so they could make a massive offer for Yamamoto that not even Hal Steinbrenner would be willing to match.
If that is the case, they turn their focus to Jordan Montgomery, who they traded last year to the St. Louis Cardinals and is currently dominating in the playoffs with the Texas Rangers.