Hector Neris spurns Yankees, chooses Cubs in signing deal
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The New York Yankees’ pursuit of bullpen reinforcements for the upcoming 2024 season has hit another roadblock as Hector Neris, the seasoned reliever, has inked a one-year, $9 million contract with the Chicago Cubs, confirmed by The Post’s Jon Heyman on Saturday.
Neris snubs the Yankees
According to ESPN, Neris’ deal includes a team option for 2025, potentially converting into a player option if he participates in 60 games during the season. The Yankees had engaged in discussions with Neris, along with other relievers like Wandy Peralta, Phil Maton, and Ryan Brasier.
At 34 years old, Neris brings considerable experience to his new team, having served as the setup man for the Houston Astros in the past two seasons, notably contributing to their World Series victory in 2022. His performance peaked last year with a career-low 1.71 ERA, coinciding with Houston’s deep run to the American League Championship Series (ALCS).
Neris embarked on his Major League Baseball journey with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2010, making his debut four years later and reaching a career-high 79 appearances in 2016. Now, he joins the Cubs, a team that narrowly missed the playoffs last season. The Cubs have made significant moves, including the appointment of Craig Counsell as manager and signing Japanese pitcher Shota Imanaga to bolster their starting rotation.
The Yankees, however, find themselves increasingly constrained in their search for bullpen stability. The departure of Neris compounds the challenge, especially following closer Josh Hader’s groundbreaking contract with the Astros, further limiting available options in free agency.
As Neris looks ahead to his tenure with the Cubs, his arrival adds depth to their bullpen and enhances their prospects for the upcoming season. Meanwhile, the Yankees must regroup and reassess their bullpen strategy amidst dwindling opportunities in the offseason market.
In summary, Neris’ decision to join the Cubs underscores the competitive landscape of Major League Baseball’s free agency period, while the Yankees face mounting pressure to fortify their bullpen ahead of the 2024 campaign.
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