Another left-hander, and this time, a 36-year-old option. Less than ideal. But Ryu was a Cy Young-caliber arm when he arrived in Toronto prior to the 2020 season, a viable innings eater in 2021 (169 innings, 4.37 ERA/4.02 FIP), and posted fourth starter numbers in 2023 after returning from long-term injury (3.46 ERA with a sketch 4.91 FIP in 52 innings).
His ability to miss bats might be evaporating as the years pile up, but if all the Yankees require is someone wily (and someone who's already recovered from recent Tommy John surgery), Ryu might be a solid bet to put up one (final?) healthy season.
There was an indicator last week that, following the Mariners and Giants' Robbie Ray trade, the Yankees could similarly look for someone else's distressed asset to help flesh out their rotation depth. Ryu would qualify as a recently distressed asset from within the division, but comes with the added benefit of ... no longer being tied down, not requiring a multi-year commitment, and not costing any prospect capital. This is an imperfect fit in an imperfect offseason -- but if the Mets were reportedly eyeing him before settling on Manaea, why not?