The New York Yankees worked their hardest to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto, but the most appealing offer couldn't get the job done. So now they must move on after he chose the Los Angeles Dodgers. Outside of going $50 million above the highest offer (which wasn't even guaranteed to land the right-hander's signature), it's unclear what could've swayed Yamamoto.
So it's partially back to the drawing board for Brian Cashman and the front office, who need to address the pitching staff and bench depth. Following the additions of Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo, though, pitching will be the priority in the short term.
But are we sure the Yankees will still swim in the deep free agent waters after their top target spurned them? Are we sure one of their former players wants to return to the team that heartlessly traded him for nothing? Are we sure the Yankees want to invest an uncomfortable amount of money in a closer again?
Yeah ... that's why we're not buying the latest buzz coming from The Athletic's Jim Bowden, who believes Jordan Montgomery or Josh Hader are up next on the docket for the Bombers.
That's not to say there isn't any validity to it, or that you can't dream your biggest Monty/Hader dreams. It just seems peculiar the Yankees would now just spend money for the sake of spending it.
Yankees Rumors: New York interested in Jordan Montgomery and Josh Hader
Once again, it is extremely hard to believe the Yankees are now going to pay $80 million more to Montgomery than they could've had him for if they extended him in 2022. It's also extremely hard to believe he'd be happy to reunite with the Yankees after they blindsided him with the Harrison Bader trade, shaded him on the way out, and disrupted his wife's medical residency.
It can't be ruled out entirely, but it seems like massive strides would have to be made in order for either party to consider such terms.
As for Hader, the Yankees just exited a nightmare of their own with an overpaid bullpen arm that let them down time and time again (Aroldis Chapman) ... after getting out of another nightmare featuring an overpaid bullpen arm that also let them down time and time again (Zack Britton). The Yankees have done exceptionally well in identifying undiscovered pitching talent and maximizing it. And while the Yankees have money to spend, it still hardly makes sense for them to invest $20 million per year in a pitcher who's going to throw 60 innings.
Hader is (rightfully) reportedly seeking an Edwin Diaz-like contract in the $100 million range. Is this where the Yankees need to invest big money, though? Even if it's most of their free agency budget? Same goes for Monty, right? Do the Yankees need to use their allotted cash on someone they failed to maximize and whose best days are away from the organization?
We could be wrong, but this feels like [Yankees] + [big-name free agent(s)] = report/topic of discussion. Happy to report back and put our hand up if proven otherwise.