Yankees reset sights on bank-breaking bullpen star after missing on Cuban

The Yankees' pursuit of Yariel Rodriguez failed as the Blue Jays signed the Cuban.

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Cuban pitching prospect Yariel Rodriguez has secured a spot in the MLB with the Toronto Blue Jays, as reported by MLB journalist Francys Romero. Despite initial interest from the Yankees, pending immigration hurdles and a physical examination will lead the 26-year-old right-hander to wear the blue cap of the Blue Jays.

Rodriguez brings experience from Nippon Professional Baseball with the Chunichi Dragons, but his pursuit of an MLB contract last March faced a setback due to the Dragons’ claim of a valid contract. After a year of training in the Dominican Republic, he now joins Toronto’s rotation following their acquisition of Marcus Stroman.

Rodriguez’s most recent season on the mound occurred in 2022 with the Dragons, where he delivered a remarkable performance, registering a 1.15 ERA and striking out 60 batters across 54 2/3 innings of relief. Before making the move to Japan, Rodríguez had a professional pitching career in Cuba spanning from 2015 to 2020.

Yankees shift focus to Neris

Meanwhile, the Yankees shift their focus to the bullpen after reinforcing their starting pitching. While Josh Hader‘s name has been previously linked to New York, recent offseason discussions highlight a few intriguing reliever options.

Veteran Hector Neris is seeking a substantial three-year, $50 million deal, and the Yankees express interest in bringing his impressive 1.71 ERA and World Series experience (with the Astros in 2022) to the Bronx. The Texas Rangers are also reportedly interested in the 34-year-old reliever.


Another name in the mix for the Yankees is right-hander Robert Stephenson. Acquired by the Rays from the Pirates last summer, the 30-year-old boasts a 2.35 ERA and impressive strikeout numbers (60 in 38 1/3 innings) for Tampa Bay.

As the 2024 season approaches, the Yankees are focused on solidifying their bullpen, with both Neris and Stephenson presenting intriguing possibilities. Whether they secure these sought-after arms or explore alternative options remains uncertain, but the Bronx Bombers show no signs of slowing down their offseason endeavors.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Yankees reset sights on bank-breaking bullpen star after missing on Cuban

  1. I am hopeful the Yankees land 2 of the 3. But, I prefer a SP. The problem is it “appears” the Yankees are in a holding pattern with SP. maybe they have a surprise by Feb 1??

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