Yankees missing out on Lorenzen gives them golden chance to also whiff on Montgomery

Imagine the Yankees spending long-term for a starter they already ushered out the door once? Ok, now open your eyes.

Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five
Championship Series - Houston Astros v Texas Rangers - Game Five / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Late Wednesday night, the Yankees seemingly sent mixed messages into the rumor mill about exactly how confident they are in their internal rotation options.

Although, when you really think it over, New York's contradicting missives actually made perfect sense.

Due to the 110% tax they must pay on any 2024 acquisitions (thanks, Manfred), an elevated short-term deal is even less appealing than usual for a team that already prioritizes lowering the AAV over all else. Remember, that's why DJ LeMahieu is here, and will still be here two years from now, stretched out past the point of usefulness (probably! sorry!). Therefore, a Blake Snell contract at two years wasn't Brian Cashman's speed whatsoever, even though a seven-year deal for the volatile lefty would be viewed as far riskier in most baseball circles.

On Wednesday night, we learned just how averse the Yankees were to adding short-term innings when Michael Lorenzen, a 2023 All-Star who could at least be a valuable swingman before petering out, went to Texas on a one-year, $4.5 million deal that could max out at $7 million. The Rangers' first-half rotation is in shambles; they needed Lorenzen. Did the Yankees need him at ~$10 million more than they need to find innings for Luis Gil, Will Warren, and Luke Weaver, who impressed Wednesday? They certainly don't believe so.

Which leads us to Jordan Montgomery. According to Jon Heyman, the sides have reengaged in recent days, but a wage gap remains. Who's willing to bet the gap never gets bridged?

Yankees have reopened talks with Jordan Montgomery, just in time to get outbid by someone else

...but WHO?!

So, if you believe this chatter, the Yankees are more than happy to roll with their young core and await Gerrit Cole's return instead of sign a low-upside veteran to eat innings. But, if Montgomery were to soften on the idea of coming back to the Bronx, and is still seeking a seven/eight-year deal, the Yankees could at least be open to the conversation.

According to Heyman, though a gulf remains, the two sides are currently attempting to overcome ... this. "The Yankees seemed to prefer Snell since their analytics folks have the same issues with Montgomery as when they traded him away, namely that he doesn’t throw especially hard, and doesn’t miss enough bats," Heyman noted. "Plus, true or not, word got out that Montgomery preferred to go elsewhere.

Right. All of that jazz. At the end of the day, it behooves Montgomery to include the Yankees before any deal reaches the finish line ... or the halfway point ... or advances out of the starting gate. After all, without his former team in the conversation, nothing has materialized less than 10 days out from Opening Day.

Forgive the dismissiveness, but it still feels like there are far too many hurdles to overcome here en route to bridging the remaining gap, which has always been there. Luke Weaver looked pretty nice, though, huh? Can't block that right arm with a Monty deal.