Shōta Imanaga Signing
While it would be more fun to sign Montgomery and trade for Burnes, if for no other reason than the Monty/Burnes Simpsons references, it's extremely unlikely the Yankees would slink back to Montgomery's camp and overpay him while also surrendering a wealth of assets for a starter in a walk year.
Nope. Sorry. On the trade market, it's Bieber. In free agency, it's Shōta Imanaga, the Japanese lefty who's widely been viewed as a pivot plan for many teams that struck out in the Yamamoto field like the Giants and Red Sox. We never wanted that to be us, but ... since we're here ... we might as well examine the fit.
Kei Igawa -- sorry, Imanaga -- is a 30-year-old left-hander who'll only require a four- or five-year commitment. He profiles remarkably similarly to Nestor Cortes Jr., featuring a rising fastball that's surprisingly difficult for batters to catch up with, despite its moderate velocity. He was prized by the Dodgers before Shohei Ohtani changed the course of baseball history by sending his payments into the next century and paving a path for Yamamoto to join him in LA.
There isn't "star power" here unless you squint, and the Yankees might feel odd about building a rotation with three lefties in it. But if they want to replicate Cortes' profile and insure against potential health issues for their incumbent left-hander, this would be an easy way to do so.