Yankees to net another high-profile arm before season, claims insider

Yankee Stadium, the home of New York Yankees.
Sara Molnick
Wednesday January 17, 2024

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The New York Yankees are not done with their build-up yet, and Jim Bowden of The Athletic expects the team to make at least one more notable pitching addition before the regular season kicks in.

Josh Hader continues to be a highly sought-after name in the free-agent market, and the Yankees have not shied away from the speculation. Bowden recently identified them as Hader’s “best match” among potential suitors.

Yankees pushing for a high-profile hurler

This evaluation comes in the wake of the Yankees altering their course from pursuing Blake Snell, opting instead for a two-year, $37 million deal with Marcus Stroman. Bowden believes this strategic shift leaves room for financial flexibility, potentially paving the way for acquiring Hader and enabling them to utilize Clay Holmes in a setup role, where he is deemed better suited.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Nevertheless, the Yankees are not without strong competition. Bowden has also identified the Rangers and Phillies as “realistic” landing spots for the 29-year-old left-handed pitcher. For these teams, the pursuit of Hader could hinge on successfully securing another starting pitcher. Otherwise, they might enter a bidding war with the Yankees for Hader, whose anticipated contract is expected to surpass Edwin Díaz’s five-year, $102 million deal with the Mets.

Hader’s track record is impressive, having been selected as an All-Star five times and delivering a remarkable 1.28 ERA and 33 saves in 61 appearances for the Padres in 2023. While adding him to the Yankees’ bullpen would undoubtedly be a game-changer, the ultimate question remains whether they can outbid the competition and turn this potential acquisition into a reality.

Yankees need a replacement for Michael King

Hector Neris is on the radar of the Yankees
Steph Chambers

The New York Yankees are not resting on their laurels just yet. Despite having what appears to be a set lineup and starting rotation, ongoing rumors regarding potential relief acquisitions, such as the experienced Hector Neris, indicate that the Yankees are still eager to enhance their roster.

It makes perfect sense for the Yankees to address the void left by Michael King (and possibly Wandy Peralta) in the bullpen. While the team may not actively pursue another high-profile starting pitcher after securing Marcus Stroman, there is a clear emphasis on fortifying the backend of the pitching staff.

However, Héctor Neris might not be the only player drawing attention. The Yankees are expected to persist in monitoring the starting pitching market, exploring both trade opportunities and free agency to identify potential upgrades without depleting their farm system or exceeding their budget.

Whether or not they secure Neris, one thing remains certain: more moves are on the horizon. The countdown has begun, and it’s merely a matter of time before the Yankees make their next offseason maneuver, with the questions of when and who will be involved generating anticipation.

Yankees planning to overcome roster crunch

Yankees in the dugout reacts following a home run by Giancarlo Stanton vs. theTigers at Yankee Stadium on Sept 5, 2023.

The official confirmation of Marcus Stroman and Luke Weaver joining the Yankees might encounter a delay as the team currently has a full 40-man roster. GM Brian Cashman is required to open up two spots, prompting considerations for potential cuts, trades, and strategic roster management.

Winter acquisitions Jeter Downs and Bubba Thompson, alongside underperforming youngsters Matt Krook and Nick Ramirez, could face release if they are deemed non-essential. Exploring trades involving Ben Rortvedt or Carlos Narvaez could yield promising prospects for the team.

Players like Oswald Peraza, Everson Pereira, and Oswaldo Cabrera might become part of high-profile trades, similar to the Yankees-Dodgers deal, where a top prospect was acquired in exchange for roster flexibility.

While trading Gleyber Torres seems unlikely due to his strong performance in 2023, other relievers such as Tommy Kahnle, Jonathan Loáisiga, or even Clarke Schmidt could be moved to acquire younger arms and generate cost savings.

Cashman faces the delicate task of creating space for Stroman and Weaver while strategically optimizing the roster for sustained long-term success. Anticipate additional roster maneuvers, including potential releases, trades, and ongoing monitoring of free agency, in preparation for the upcoming 2024 season.

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