The New York Yankees may end up landing the top free-agent pitcher this offseason after all. Many have speculated that the Yankees are willing to make a massive splash this offseason. New York won just 82 games last year and needs to make major changes this offseason if it wants to make its way back to the postseason in 2024. The Yankees’ two biggest needs are another starting pitcher as well as a steady bat to add to the middle of the lineup. New York — like many teams — has been linked to Orix Buffaloes star Yoshinobu Yamamoto to fill its rotation hole. While it’s unclear at this point who he will sign with, New York reportedly is “ahead of the pack,” according to NJ.com’s Bob Klapisch.
“I ran into an American League executive on Monday,” Klapisch said.”Like all conversations at the Winter Meetings, the exchange quickly turned into a bargaining session. Here you trade in news updates. ‘What are you hearing?’ he began. ‘Shouldn’t I be asking you?’ “He laughed and said, ‘It’s early’ before delivering the nugget I was looking for. ‘The Yankees are telling people they’re ahead of the pack on (Yoshinobu Yamamoto). Like, way ahead.’ And off the exec went, into the wide open space of the Opryland Hotel.” Yamamoto is exactly what the Yankees need. He is just 25 years old and could help the rotation for years to come. New York is in win-now mode with both Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge in the middle of their primes. The Yankees need to act quickly to become World Series contenders and landing Yamamoto would be a major upgrade.