The New York Yankees were in the market looking for All-Star-level lefty outfielders. They were also looking for a star pitcher. However, bolstering the outfield was a bigger priority for the NY side. After all, the weak outfield caused the major damage last season. They could not even make the postseason last time. But the next big plan was to bring in a star pitcher to even things out. Moreover, the main target in free agency for the Bronx was Yoshinobu Yamamoto. They were the frontrunners to seal the deal as well. However, things didn’t end up going as per their plans.
The Los Angeles Dodgers offered two more years than the NY side and also more cash to the Japanese ace pitcher. As a result, the Yankees had to digest the fact that Yamamoto was moving to the LA Dodgers. On top of that, the pitching situation is worsening in the Bronx after they traded quite a lot. This way, the Bronx Bombers might not find the balance they were looking for. Hence, the Yankees are still looking for a starting pitcher in the market. Moreover, Josh Hader is a viable option for the Pinstripes.
Will Yankees Go All In For Josh Hader?
On Thursday, Jim Bowden of The Athletics mentioned the Yankees might try to land Josh Hader from the San Diego Padres. But the former general manager also said on CBS Sports HQ that Brian Cashman might want to shorten the games if they have a superior bullpen. As per Bowden, the Yankees are “In Play” for the lefty reliever. However, Bowden thinks the problem is that Josh Hader is looking for a five-year contract worth $102 million that matches or exceeds the deal of Edwin Diaz with the NY Mets. But the teams in line to sign Hader are not looking for a closer. Teams like the Texas Rangers, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the NY Yankees are looking for a starting pitcher or trade for a starter.
Moreover, Bowden said the Yankees might be looking to reunite with Jordan Montgomery. However, the Pinstripes can “Pivot” to get Hader if he doesn’t ask for that salary. Hader is 29 years old and is showing signs of improvement. He had to struggle to get back form in the previous few seasons. However, last season with the Padres, Hader proved that he can come back stronger. He had a 1.28 ERA, 85 strikeouts, 1.10 WHIP, and 33 saves in 56 1/3 innings. Moreover, the advantage of having Hader is that he can walk a lot of hitters.
Were The Pinstripes Desperate To Sign Some Big Hitters?
The Bronx Bombers finished with an 82-80 record in 2023. It was one of the worst seasons in the last thirty years of the franchise’s history. They had the second-worst batting average after the Oakland Athletics in 2023. Hence, bolstering the offense and the outfield was indeed necessary.
That’s what the Yankees did because they had the resources to bring in star outfielders. Moreover, the NY side had immense depth in the bullpen prior to the current offseason. As a result, to sign high-profile players like Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, the Yankees traded and sacrificed a lot of pitchers as well as catchers. T