3 home run moves the Yankees must hit after missing out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto

The New York Yankees were unable to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto after multiple meetings with free agency's most coveted pitcher. Now what?

Brian Cashman, Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
Brian Cashman, Aaron Judge, New York Yankees / New York Yankees/GettyImages
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The New York Yankees were considered favorites to land Yoshinobu Yamamoto after meeting with the coveted free agent twice. In the end, however, Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner wouldn't match the 12-year, $325 million offers made by the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. Yamamoto signed with the former, joining Shohei Ohtani on Los Angeles' new MLB superteam.

Yamamoto figures to perform straight away. It's a lot of money for a 25-year-old who has never pitched in the MLB, but the three-time Nippon Professional Baseball MVP has a uniquely strong résumé. His high-90s heat and renowned off-speed pitches should translate to immediate success in the MLB.

Tha Yankees would have loved to stack a young, up-and-coming ace behind reigning AL Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole. Instead, the Yankees still lack a top-line starter to complement Cole and boost their attempt to rebound from last season's disappointing 82-win finish.

That said, New York is still well positioned for growth after landing Juan Soto and Alex Verdugo via trade. The Yankees' front office is clearly willing to spend, so why not take a few more big swings before the winter is out?

Here are a few worthwhile home run hacks for Cashman and the front office to take.

3. Yankees can improve infield depth with Amed Rosario signing

The Yankees elevated Anthony Volpe to the full-time shortstop role in 2023, looking over key free agents such as Trea Turner due to their confidence in the 21-year-old. The results were less than ideal, with Volpe splitting .209/.283/.383 with 24 home runs, 60 RBIs, and 24 stolen bases in 541 ABs.

He's still on the come-up and the power numbers are promising. The Yankees won't (and shouldn't) give up on Volpe, but there could be an incentive to improve their depth at the position and add a veteran alternative. Enter Amed Rosario, the SS-2B combo who split last season between the Cleveland Guardians and Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was a poor 2023 campaign for Rosario, but the overall indicators are positive. As Leo Morgenstern laid out at Just Baseball, there's reason to believe the 28-year-old can bounce back in 2024.

"With a 5.3% walk rate and an 18.2% strikeout rate, Amed Rosario actually finished the 2023 season with the highest walk-to-strikeout ratio of his career. What’s more, his expected stats and quality-of-contact numbers hardly changed."

Rosario doesn't help much in the field, but he's a dynamic base-runner who can provide serious value at the plate. He finished last season splitting .263/.305/.378 in 510 ABs, but those numbers looked much better the season prior (.283/.312/.403), when he led the American League in triples (nine).

The Yankees need to improve their infield and offensive depth chart. Rosario can eat extra ABs at short and second, with the potential to straight-up outperform Volpe if the Yankees' youngster can't improve upon his rookie-season output. New York is aiming to contend, after all. It's all hands on deck, and Volpe should at least have to compete for ABs after 2023's stinker.