Yankees scramble to fill Cole’s void: Eyes on Peralta?

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As the New York Yankees grapple with the absence of ace Gerrit Cole for the first 12 weeks of the season, intense speculation has arisen regarding how they will manage his absence in the starting rotation.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Yankees had previously explored ways to strengthen their pitching staff. They made an offer to free agent Blake Snell and even revived trade discussions with the Chicago White Sox for Dylan Cease, who was ultimately acquired by the San Diego Padres. With Cole’s extended recovery timeline, the search for replacements is expected to intensify. Cole himself acknowledged to reporters, including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, that it’s too early to predict a specific return date.

Analyst Dayn Perry suggests a potential solution: a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for 27-year-old starting pitcher Freddy Peralta. Peralta is entering the fourth year of a five-year contract worth $15.5 million. Perry highlights Peralta’s impressive performance over the past three seasons, during which he has posted a stellar ERA+ of 123 and a strong strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.58) across 74 starts and two relief appearances. Perry emphasizes Peralta’s potential as an underrated starting pitcher who could significantly bolster the Yankees’ rotation.

Perry suggests that the Brewers might be open to a trade, considering their recent activity. They parted ways with established arms like Corbin Burnes and Adrian Houser during the offseason. Furthermore, the recent loss of All-Star closer Devin Williams to a 12-week injury could further motivate the Brewers to entertain trade offers. As the reigning NL Central champions, and given their recent trades, the Brewers might be receptive to deals, especially for starting pitching depth.

Peralta: An Intriguing Option, But Challenges Remain


Freddy Peralta has emerged as a potential solution for the Yankees, but acquiring him from the Brewers may not be a straightforward process. Currently, Peralta is projected to lead the Brewers’ rotation, particularly with fellow starter Brandon Woodruff recovering from a shoulder injury.

Peralta’s six-year major league career boasts an impressive 3.83 ERA and 42 wins across 97 starts. However, his true brilliance lies in his strikeout ability. He ranks among the top five in the league in K-BB%, surpassing established names such as Zack Wheeler, Luis Castillo, and even the Yankees’ own Gerrit Cole.

During his All-Star 2021 season, which showcased Peralta at his peak, he accumulated an impressive 195 strikeouts in just 144.1 innings pitched, with a stellar 2.81 ERA. Moreover, his fastball velocity has shown improvement since then.

While Peralta’s talent is undeniable, acquiring him could prove more costly than a pitcher like Corbin Burnes, who was recently traded away by the Brewers. Although Burnes is a Cy Young Award winner, Peralta offers the Yankees a significant advantage in terms of longer control over his contract.

According to reports by Dayn Perry, Peralta’s contract includes two very team-friendly options for 2025 and 2026, at only $8 million each. This might make the Brewers reluctant to part with him.

Another potential obstacle is the Yankees’ reluctance to include their prized prospect, Spencer Jones (ranked second overall in their system), in trade discussions, as reported by ESPN’s Jorge Castillo.

The Yankees are faced with a dilemma. While Peralta could be the answer to their pitching woes, prying him away from the Brewers might require significant concessions, including prospects that the Yankees appear unwilling to part with.

Yankees Weigh Options Amidst Pitching Uncertainty


In light of Gerrit Cole’s absence, the Yankees might choose to hold off on pursuing a significant trade, such as acquiring Freddy Peralta. Initially, the team faced difficulties in selecting an Opening Day starter to fill the void left by Cole. Ultimately, they decided on Nestor Cortes, who will be aiming to rebound from a challenging 2023 season in which he posted a 4.97 ERA while battling injuries.

The Yankees’ pitching depth, already stretched thin without Cole, could be further exposed if Cortes struggles in the first half of the season. A series of shaky performances from Cortes could compel the Yankees to become more aggressive in the trade market, potentially revisiting the idea of acquiring a pitcher like Peralta to bolster their rotation.

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