While the New York Mets are a top contender for young Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto in free agency, the organization reportedly has three backup plans in mind, including National League Cy Young Blake Snell.
Outside of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, his Japanese countryman Yoshinbobu Yamamoto is the biggest name on this year’s free agent market. The 25-year-old has quickly become the top pitcher in the “Land of the Rising Sun” and has won three straight Pacific League MVP Awards.
Unsurprisingly, with pitching always at a premium the Orix Buffaloes star had garnered a massive amount of interest from around MLB, including from many wealthy big-market franchises. The Mets are one of the teams involved in the Yamamoto chase but winning it continues to look more difficult by the day.
On Monday, New York Post MLB insider Jon Heyman revealed that while many teams around the league see New York as a major player in the Yamamoto market, they are far from a favorite despite other reports claiming they might match any offer that comes his way.
However, since failing in the chase is a real possibility, considering the heavy competition, Heyman also revealed that the Mets already have started to put out feelers to several other top-line starters that could serve as backup plans to Yamamoto.
New York Mets showing interest in Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery
“The Mets aren’t assuming anything and are showing interest in other free-agent pitchers, including Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Eduardo Rodriguez,” Heyman wrote. “Among the fallback options, they may have a possible preference for Snell.”
Snell had a career year for the San Diego Padres as he won 14 games and posted a 2.25 ERA en route to winning the 2023 NL Cy Young Award. It was the second time that the 31-year-old took home the top pitching honor for a season.
Montgomery was one of the most sought-after players before the trade deadline in July. After being traded to the Texas Rangers, he played great down the stretch and was outstanding in the American League Championship Series for the eventual World Series champions.
Rodriguez also had a career year as he won 13 games for the lowly Detroit Tigers and posted the best ERA and WHIP numbers of his eight-year tenure in the league this past season.
All three would be notable upgrades to the New York Mets starting rotation for 2024.