5 Gerrit Cole replacements the Yankees can sign immediately

Gerrit Cole could miss time with an elbow injury, so keep an eye on these free agents.

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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2. Yankees can reunite with Jordan Montgomery to stabilize rotation

The Texas Rangers aren't going to re-sign Jordan Montgomery because of their TV deal, which leaves the 31-year-old in a bind. Montgomery has adhered to the Scott Boras playbook, waiting deep into free agency in hopes of an opportunity just like this — a contender suddenly overcome with a need to add one more top-line ace.

It's unclear how Montgomery feels about New York after the Yankees traded him in 2022, but money talks. Hal Steinbrenner has deep pockets and we've already seen Brian Cashman squash beef with a pitching target this offseason. If the Yankees decide Montgomery is the object of their affection, it wouldn't be too hard to put in an offer exceeding whatever is currently on the table.

All signs point toward Montgomery following in the footsteps of his fellow Boras clients and signing a short-term deal full of opt-outs. That could be exactly what New York wants. Montgomery keeps all the leverage, but the Yankees avoid committing significant money deep into the southpaw's 30s. It's a potential win-win situation, with Montgomery headlining the Yankees' rotation in Cole's absence and parlaying that success into a more lucrative contract elsewhere next offseason, once Cole is back up to speed.

Even if Cole gets back quickly, Montgomery is a sizable upgrade over Rodon or Marcus Stroman as the Yankees' No. 2 starter. He was dazziling during the Rangers' World Series run, furthering the case for a team in New York's situation — with a goal to contend deep into October — to sign him.