Latest Yankees pitching rumors do nothing but confuse fans as uncertainty continues

It's January! So what's going to happen?
Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians
Atlanta Braves v Cleveland Guardians / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Hey, have you heard? The New York Yankees need pitching! They were unable to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who was apparently always destined for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it was probably for the better, anyway. That 12-year, $325 million deal also has a ton of luxury incentives in it. No thanks.

So, who's left? That would be ... Jordan Montgomery, Blake Snell, Shōta Imanaga and Marcus Stroman in free agency and then Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber, Jesus Luzardo/Edward Cabrera, and Corbin Burnes on the trade market (to varying degrees of availability).

The Yankees have been connected to all of those names in some capacity, but nothing's even close to imminent. In fact, everything's getting more confusing. Take the Snell, situation, for example.

First, the Yankees weren't involved solely because they were pursuing Yamamoto. Then, even after Yamamoto signed, buzz surfaced suggesting the Yankees weren't interested in the left-hander. Then, late last week, there was renewed interest on both sides to potentially get a deal done. But again, nothing has progressed.

Hell, let's just go down the list! Montgomery is very much a target of New York's based on the incessant reporting, but now that the Rangers' local TV deal is coming into focus, Texas appears to be the favorites there. This always felt like a longshot, anyway.

Latest Yankees pitching rumors do nothing but confuse fans as uncertainty continues

The Yankees are very much not (reportedly) interested in Imanaga, whose posting window expires this week. It's unclear where he'll land, especially if his price tag remains in the $80-$100 million range, which doesn't seem palatable.

Stroman? That's an entirely separate topic we can detail for you right here. Plenty to read there. And then there's the trade market, with more information from Bob Nightengale of USA Today surfacing within the last day:

"The New York Yankees will sign or trade for another marquee starter before opening day. After acquiring Juan Soto for only one year, they have already shown they are all in. This means they could overpay, at some point, for Dylan Cease, although they’re balking at the price. The Yankees also have had discussions for Jesus Luzardo of the Marlins and Shane Bieber of the Guardians. They could even jump into the Hader marketplace. But the Yankees will spend, trade and do everything possible to assure they are playing deep into October."

Bob Nightengale

The trade stuff is particularly tough to parse through. The asking price for Cease remains high and many teams are in a holding period with those talks. But now the Yankees are willing to overpay after balking at the price? Same goes for Luzardo, who the Marlins are shopping at peak value. He has three years of club control, yes, but will Brian Cashman pay top dollar for somebody who's only made 30 or more starts in a single season one time?

Bieber was reportedly pegged as a candidate less and less likely to be traded this offseason, but the Yankees are continuing discussions with the Guardians? New York also already made a trade with Cleveland, so it kind of feels like the time has passed. Assuming there's been interest for longer than a month, it would've made the most sense to agree to an expanded deal that included the right-hander.

Nightengale also loosely mentions closer Josh Hader, a target the Yankes have reportedly been eyeing for a good portion of the offseason, but it's hard to envision the front office sinking top dollar into another closer who's more than likely to regress on their watch.

Take from all of that what you will. In our eyes, we're no closer to a resolution than we were pre-Yamamoto sweepstakes.