After addressing outfield holes, the New York Yankees’ are looking to grab pitching reinforcements next in the off-season. The agenda is simple. Find a top-tier starter and a couple of experienced relief pitchers to bolster the pitching depth. However, the pursuit is easier said than done due to the shrinking of the market.
As far as starter options are concerned, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Blake Snell, and Jordan Montgomery are the only remaining top-tier pitchers in the free agency market currently. Yamamoto, especially, has remained actively linked to the Yankees for a while now. While initially, the Bombers were front runners, the late entry of the LA Dodgers is giving sleepless nights to the Yankee front office.
MLB Insider Banks On Yankees To Win Yoshinobu Yamamoto Sweepstakes!
After Shohei Ohtani signed a $700 million contract with the LA Dodgers, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is the next big name-making wave in the MLB market. He is playing hard to get and is taking leisure time to come to a final decision. The ace pitcher arrived in the USA earlier this week and met with the New York Yankees. The latter had to travel to LA to meet with the pitcher in person. While the initial meeting went down well, analysts speculated that perhaps the Dodgers would win the sweepstakes eventually. Apparently, Ohtani has agreed to defer 97% of his salary to the end of his 10-year contract. This way, the Dodgers CBT is down significantly, thus allowing the team to acquire additional high-end names.
After sorting out Ohtani’s contract terms, LA Dodgers stakes claim on Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The team hosted the ace pitcher at the Dodgers stadium, surrounded by Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, and Mookie Betts. This update led the fans to believe that Yamamoto is most likely to land with the Dodgers. However, Bob Nightingale of USA Today Sports has lifted the Yankee fans’ spirits with a fresh update. He claimed that the Yankees are still favorites to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto. Despite a strong push from the Dodgers, the Bombers haven’t lowered their guard and are actively convincing the ace pitcher to join forces. Besides the Yanks and Dodgers, the New York Mets are also in play. Steve Cohen reportedly flew all the way to Japan to convince Yamamoto to join the Mets. Ultimately, it will all come down to monetary stakes, as all three teams are equally competitive.
The Downside Of Signing Yamamoto For Yanks!
While signing Yoshinobu Yamamoto would solve rotational issues for the New York Yankees, the negative implication on the payroll would likely cost them Juan Soto. As per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, landing Yamamoto would “diminish their appetite” of the Yanks to extend Juan Soto’s stay in the Bronx. Soto was traded on a one-year rental deal and will become a free agent by the end of the 2024 season.
Moreover, Juan Soto is predicted to earn a $400-500 million contract as a free agent. On the other hand, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is also expected to earn a $300 million-plus contract his off-season. Meanwhile, the Yankees already have Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole sealed on $360 million and $324 million deals, respectively. Naturally, the financial implications of high-end signings are something Hal Steinbrenner has to look into in the future.