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Latest On Yankees!



The Yankees are currently placing their primary focus on bolstering their bullpen as the offseason progresses. Various free agents have been linked to the team in recent weeks, with right-hander Hector Neris being among the most frequently mentioned potential targets. While the Yankees have engaged in discussions with the 34-year-old Neris, there is now a notable level of interest from other teams outside of New York, according to SNY’s Andy Martino. Furthermore, Jack Curry of the YES Network suggests that, as of the current moment, it seems unlikely that Neris will sign with the Yankees. Curry indicates that reunions with left-hander Wandy Peralta and/or right-hander Keynan Middleton appear more probable than acquiring Neris.

Hector Neris has been seeking a one- or two-year contract in the range of $7-11 million annually. Given the Yankees’ status as a third-time luxury tax offender, any signing at this point would result in a 110% luxury tax hit. Hence, the Yankees are exploring alternatives that come with a lower cost.

Wandy Peralta, 32, has been a consistent presence in the Yankees’ bullpen over the past three seasons. From 2021 to 2023, he compiled a 2.82 ERA over 153 innings, displaying a 21% strikeout rate, a 10.2% walk rate, and an impressive 56.5% ground-ball rate. Peralta has excelled in limiting hard contact, consistently ranking in the 88th percentile or higher in opponents’ average exit velocity over the past four seasons.

Keynan Middleton, 30, joined the Yankees at the trade deadline and posted a stellar 1.88 ERA with a 30.4% strikeout rate in 14 1/3 innings. Despite dealing with shoulder inflammation that limited his September appearances, Middleton enjoyed a successful rebound season in 2023. Across 50 2/3 innings with the White Sox and Yankees, he recorded a 3.38 ERA, a 30.2% strikeout rate, and a career-best 56.6% ground-ball rate. Middleton’s increased usage of the changeup contributed to his ground-ball success, with opponents managing only a .209 average against the pitch.

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