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No Neris, Peralta, or Middleton – These 8 Arms Could Still Help Yankees’ Bullpen

Published 02/02/2024, 8:30 AM EST

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The 2023 postseason miss out, fueled by an unreliable bullpen, left a bitter taste in the New York Yankees’ mouths. Now, with the departures of familiar faces like Wandy Peralta, Hector Neris, and Keynan Middleton from the free agency market, the bullpen picture looks bleaker than a Derek Jeter farewell speech. But fret not, pinstripe faithful! Free agency beckons, offering a glimmer of hope. Who could step onto the mound and silence the Yankee Stadium boos, transforming this bullpen from a liability to a lockdown force?

Imagine this: the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, two outs, Aaron Judge just hit a lead-clinching home run in the top of the inning. The tension thrums through the stadium like a live wire. But instead of the bullpen blues, a new arm takes the mound, eyes blazing, fastball humming. He paints the corners, induces weak grounders, and slams the door shut on the opposing rally. That’s the dream scenario the Yankees crave. So, who are the free-agent hurlers with the talent, experience, and grit to make it a reality?

The New York Yankees Bullpen: Finding Arms After a Farewell Tour

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The New York Yankees’ postseason dreams were rudely diminished in 2023, thanks in part to a bullpen that sputtered at crucial moments. Now, with some familiar faces departing for greener pastures, the Bronx Bombers are back in the market, searching for arms to bolster their relief corps. But who’s left on the free-agent scrap heap, and what can they bring to the pinstripes? Let’s take a spin on the free-agent carousel and meet our top eight contenders:

The Proven Arms

Phil Maton: This fire-balling righty from the Houston Astros boasts a sizzling fastball and a devastating curveball, racking up strikeouts at a 27% clip in 2023, per MLB Trade Rumors. Consistency might be a question mark, but his upside is undeniable.

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Ryan Brasier: Talk about a redemption story! After a rough start with the BoSox, Brasier transformed into a lights-out reliever for the LA Dodgers, sporting a microscopic 0.70 ERA in the second half of 2023. His ability to induce ground balls and limit walks makes him a valuable asset.

The Intriguing Options

Ryne Stanek: Bosox Injection reports that this Astros castoff has a career ERA of 3.45, but his 2023 season was a mixed bag. However, his ability to miss bats and his experience as a multi-inning reliever could be valuable for the New York Yankees.

Jakob Junis: A versatile swingman, Junis can eat innings as a starter or provide length out of the bullpen. Pinstripe Alley points out his slider as his go-to weapon, and his success against lefties makes him an interesting option.

Watch This Story: The New York Yankees’ Extended Pitchers’ List According To The MLB Rumor

The Specialists

Scott Alexander: Lefty specialists are a dying breed, but Alexander’s dominance against lefties (.215 batting average in 2023) could be tempting, especially considering the three-batter minimum rule.

Shintaro Fujinami: This enigmatic Japanese import struggled initially but found his footing in the bullpen while splitting time with the Oakland Athletics and then the Baltimore Orioles. His electric fastball and diverse arsenal could be a boom-or-bust gamble for the New York Yankees.

The Veterans

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Jesse Chavez: This ageless wonder defied expectations with a stellar 1.56 ERA for the Atlanta Braves in 2023. His ability to control multiple pitches and limit hard contact makes him a low-key, high-impact option.

Brad Hand: While 2023 wasn’t his best year, Hand’s dominance against lefties remains a valuable asset. If the Yankees are looking for a southpaw specialist on a short-term deal, Hand could be their guy.

The Verdict?

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The New York Yankees have a buffet of intriguing options to choose from. While they might not land a superstar closer, finding the right mix of high-upside arms and reliable veterans could be the key to shoring up their bullpen and reigniting their championship dreams. So, who will don the pinstripes and join the Bronx Bombers’ bullpen brigade? Stay tuned, baseball fans, as the offseason plot thickens!

Read More: For New York Yankees to Win It All, Carlos Rodon & These 3 Must Deliver

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Written by:

Shrabana Sengupta

664Articles

One take at a time

"Those who gaze outward dream, but those who turn inward awaken." A pro-writer for MLB EssentiallySports, I’ve been a fan of the New York Yankees since my school days. In my adolescent years, I was introduced to the iconic franchise through one of my beloved Friends characters, Joey.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj