The New York Yankees parted ways with top relief pitcher Michael King this off-season. King, who was poised to embrace a starter’s role, was abruptly traded to the San Diego Padres in a deal that saw Juan Soto land in the Bronx. Having said that, the Bombers are yet to find a replacement for King in this free agency.
The front office tried to pursue Josh Hader, Jordan Hicks, and Hector Neris. However, no potential deal came to fruition. Meanwhile, the Yanks might turn to in-house help after exhausting all external options. Recently, pitching coach Matt Blake dropped a hint on promoting a formidable relief pitcher. However, the pitcher’s troubling injury history has sent waves of concern to the Yankee fanbase.
Yankees To Offer Multi-Inning Role To Jonathan Loaisiga
Michael King broke every barrier last season to earn a much-deserved berth in the starting rotation. However, long before the alleged promotion, the reliever lost his place in the Bronx. Meanwhile, New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake has dropped hints on a potential replacement for King. Since the club has failed to acquire any external candidates, the in-house candidates are expected to come to the rescue. Moreover, Blake allegedly told insider Gary Phillips that reliever Jonathan Loaisiga would be moved to a multi-inning role, possibly filling King’s shoes. However, the news didn’t sit well with Yankee fans as they highlighted the pitcher’s troubling injury history. Loaisiga’s talent as a pitcher is undeniable.
When healthy, he has shown flashes of brilliance on the mound. Jonathan’s fastballs can touch the upper 90s, and a devastating slider can keep hitters off balance. However, injuries have plagued his career. The setbacks limited his availability and raised questions about his durability over the course of a full season. Last season as well, Jonathan Loaisiga spent a major half of the season on the injury list with elbow trouble. However, despite his talent, Loaisiga’s injury history has left many Yankees fans skeptical about his ability to handle a multi-inning role effectively. Regardless, the Bronx Bombers lack options for now. They parted with too many relievers this off-season. Also, Wandy Peralta signed with Padres, thus leaving the Yanks in a fix. Thus, backing Jonathan Loaisiga remains the club’s only option.
Wandy Peralta Signs With Padres
After acquiring Michael King, Jhony Brito and Randy Vasquez, the San Diego Padres have another Yankees pitcher in its fold. As per rumors, the Padres have agreed to a four-year $16.5 million contract with Peralta. Notably, despite releasing Peralta, the Bombers were in talks for an alleged reunion. Not only that, but the New York Mets also stayed active in the sweepstakes. But the Padres eventually swooped in.
With that, the New York Yankees have lost another top-tier relief pitcher candidate this free agency. At this rate, the team will have to settle with the current bullpen depth, which is not too strong. Many arms are inexperienced. And lack the grit to pitch in the big leagues on a consistent basis. Thus, the Yanks are likely to face a steep challenge when it comes to relief pitching in the 2024 season.
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