Wandy Peralta sweepstake incites the latest round of Yankees-Mets fight

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The rivalry between the Yankees and Mets has spilled into the offseason, ignited by the sought-after left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta. This adds to the anticipation reverberating through the New York baseball scene, which is not solely tied to the impending season.

Wandy Peralta, now a free agent after three successful seasons with the Yankees, has become a coveted figure. The Athletic’s Brendan Kuty reports ongoing discussions between the Yankees and Wandy Peralta, but finding “common ground” proves challenging. Simultaneously, the Mets, as revealed by the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, are actively “targeting” the southpaw to fortify their bullpen.

Wandy Peralta remains a reliable arm

Familiar to Yankees fans, Wandy Peralta has been a reliable arm since his arrival in 2021, boasting a 2.82 ERA and 133 strikeouts in 153 innings. His impressive consistency is underscored by appearing in at least 56 games in each of the past three seasons, despite a late-season left triceps issue in 2023. While his 2023 walk rate experienced a slight uptick, his elite ability to strand runners (82.5% left on base) remains a valuable asset.

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Entering free agency for the first time, Wandy Peralta’s expected price tag reflects his established value. Spotrac projects a market value of $7.2 million per season, a notable increase from his previous deals with the Yankees ($2.15 million in 2022 and $3.35 million in 2023).

The Yankees‘ keen interest in retaining Wandy Peralta sparks intrigue. Despite possessing the best bullpen ERA in MLB (3.34) last season, the relief corps remains formidable with high-leverage weapons like Tommy Kahnle, Clay Holmes, and Jonathan Loaisiga, supported by middle-inning options Scott Effross, Ian Hamilton, and Victor Gonzalez. The departure of Michael King to the Padres doesn’t diminish the Yankees’ bullpen depth.

Yet, the Yankees, well-versed in crafting championship-caliber bullpens, won’t let Wandy Peralta slip away without a fight, especially to their crosstown rivals. Conversely, the Mets are in dire need of bullpen enhancements. Their 2023 bullpen, ranking 22nd in MLB with a 4.45 ERA, has witnessed minimal improvement this offseason. While re-signing Adam Ottavino was a positive step, it doesn’t fully address the team’s pitching challenges.

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Wandy Peralta could be a transformative addition for the Mets, bringing experience, consistency, and a valuable left-handed presence to their bullpen.

The competition for Wandy Peralta is intense. The Yankees, despite their bullpen strength, are resolute in not allowing him to join the Mets. The Mets, in their quest for bullpen relief, are prepared to extend a lucrative offer to secure Peralta’s services.

One thing remains certain: Wandy Peralta’s next pitch will be thrown in New York. Whether it echoes in the Bronx or resonates in Queens is yet to be determined. This offseason rivalry may not directly impact on-field proceedings, but it serves as an exhilarating prelude to the Subway Series that lies ahead.

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