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Yankees’ Top Choices

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Following a disappointing 82-80 season in 2023, the New York Yankees are striving for improvements with the aim of making a postseason comeback in 2024.

General Manager Brian Cashman has strengthened the lineup by acquiring Juan Soto, and Marcus Stroman has been added to fortify the starting rotation. Currently, the team’s focus is on enhancing the bullpen, with an inclination toward re-signing a familiar face from the 2023 season.

Rumors have circulated regarding free-agent reliever HΓ©ctor Neris as a potential addition to the Yankees’ bullpen. Neris is reportedly seeking a one- or two-year deal within the range of $7-11 million per season. However, recent reports from YES Network’s Yankees Hot Stove suggest that an agreement between New York and Neris is unlikely. Instead, the team appears more inclined to re-sign either Wandy Peralta or Keynan Middleton.

Earlier reports had identified the Yankees and the Texas Rangers as frontrunners for Neris as of January 13, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Nevertheless, recent developments suggest a shift in the Yankees’ priorities at least for the time being.

Reflecting on the performances of Peralta and Middleton during their tenure with the Yankees, Peralta, who joined the team in the 2021 season, has proven to be a valuable asset in the bullpen. Over three seasons and 165 games, the left-hander has accumulated a 10-9 record with a 2.82 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 133 strikeouts in 153 innings pitched. Middleton, acquired from the Chicago White Sox at the 2023 trade deadline, showcased effectiveness in a limited sample, significantly improving his ERA and WHIP with the Yankees.

With the pressure to compete in 2024, the Yankees, known for their storied history and 27 World Series titles, face heightened expectations. The 82 wins in 2023 marked their lowest total since 1992. The acquisition of Soto from the San Diego Padres underscores a win-now mentality, yet the uncertainty of Soto’s long-term presence in the Bronx adds urgency for a deep postseason run. The Yankees, having made the playoffs seven times since 2015, aim to avoid consecutive postseason absences, emphasizing their commitment to competitiveness with the offseason moves orchestrated by Cashman and the front office.

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