Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Yankees are on the hunt for starting pitching this offseason. Particularly since Brian Cashman’s efforts to woo Yoshinobu Yamamoto failed when the Dodgers swooped in with a 12-year deal.

Lucky for the Yankees, the market hasn’t picked up much since. Another Japanese hurler, lefty Shōta Imanaga, recently signed with the Cubs, but at way less than expected. It’s otherwise been a quiet winter as fans desperately await when pitchers and catchers report in February.

There’s still plenty of time to make deals in free agency or a trade, and Cashman knows it. Let’s take a closer look at some of the arms on New York’s radar.

Dylan Cease. The 28-year-old righty has had three solid years with the White Sox, even if he regressed a bit in 2023. Cease saw his ERA balloon from 2.20 the year before to 4.58, but still led the AL with 33 starts. Sure enough, rebuilding Chicago’s asking price is high.

And according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, perhaps too high for the Yankees and others. White Sox GM Chris Getz wants multiple prospects and “fill-ins,” all so he can essentially dump Cease’s rising salary before free agency in two years. Cashman is too smart for that, so he’ll probably put Cease on the back burner unless Getz lowers his demands.

Jordan Montgomery. We’ve discussed the big lefty and recent World Series champion plenty as of late, and the Yankees are still interested in Montgomery. He’s a more complete pitcher and the Yankees don’t need to micromanage his approach any further.

However, the Yankees have some competition working against them. The Rangers want Monty back after their World Series run and per’s Randy Miller, the feeling is mutual. Texas has proven more than willing to throw caution to the wind and write the big checks. They’ve spent over $1 billion in free agency these last three years, so Cashman has a high hill to climb if he wants Montgomery back in the Bronx.

Marcus Stroman. The Long Islander is reportedly interested in pitching for the Yankees, and MLB Network’s Jon Morosi adds both sides have had “productive” talks. Stroman spent the last two seasons with the Cubs and posted a 3.95 ERA and 3.58 FIP in 2023. Given matchbox-sized Yankee Stadium and the veteran righty’s career groundball rate (GB%) of 56.7%.

The downside of adding Stroman, sadly, is that he’s found a way of making the wrong headlines. He suffered a strained calf pitching for the Mets early in the shortened 2020 season, only to opt out of the season days later. When Kyrie Irving was suspended for anti-Semitic tweets in 2022, Stroman defended him with some tweets of his own.

Stroman even called the Cubs out last season over not negotiating an extension with him. The Yankees can sign him, but Brian Cashman’s “interest” seems more out of courtesy than anything else. Adding Marcus Stroman could wind up being the pitching equivalent of the Josh Donaldson trade.

Blake Snell. We recently discussed the Yankees’ interest in the reigning NL Cy Young winner, and Snell’s market hasn’t evolved much since. He’s like Cease in that he issues a lot of walks, but the high K% makes up for it. And yet, Bob Nightengale at USA Today reports big market teams have “shied away” over concerns over Snell handling the pressure.

In turn, the chaotic Los Angeles Angels have reportedly emerged as the favorites to sign Snell. They can pay him, but he won’t win in Anaheim. Concerns aside, Snell’s upside is too high for the Yankees to just walk away. He doesn’t give up many home runs to begin with and is a different pitcher than he was with the Rays.

Each of these arms fits the Yankees, and it’s now on Cashman to close the deal.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.