The New York Yankees succeeded in bringing a generational talent to the Bronx for the upcoming MLB season. Juan Soto, widely regarded as one of the best hitters in the league, will don the pinstripes in 2024. The team traded him earlier this month from the San Diego Padres in an extensive package.
In exchange for Juan Soto and Trent Grisham, the Yankees offered Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, Drew Thorpe, and Kyle Higashioka to the Padres. The package caused a huge dent in the franchise’s bullpen depth. While King led the pen, Brito and Vasquez were major league-ready pitchers. Thus, the Bronx Bombers are in desperate to fill King’s void in the pen.
Ian Hamilton Ideal In house Candidate To Take Michael King’s Place In Yankees Bullpen!
The New York Yankees were surely going to lose relief pitcher Michael King one way or another. If he weren’t included in the trade package, King was on his way to getting promoted to the starting rotation. Having said that, before seeking any outside help, the Yanks must explore an in-house pool of talent to seek a replacement. In 2023, the team allowed a lot of minor-league pitchers to get a taste of the big leagues. Brito and Vasquez were amongst the group that stood out. However, with the duo also headed to San Diego, the Bronx Bombers options are shrinking. Yoendrys Gómez, Luis Gil, and Clayton Beeter make up for the youngster group. But they aren’t yet ready to lead the rotation the way King did.
Matt Krook, a former starter, and Nick Ramirez are lefty options. But they lack the shutdown skills that Michael King offered to the Yankees. Thus, the best option is right-hander Ian Hamilton. The pitcher made waves with a unique “slambio” pitch and subsequently made a place for himself in the rotation. In 2023, Hamilton posted a 2.64 ERA across 39 games wherein he opened, closed, and threw three multiple innings out of the pen. The right-hander pitched at least two innings 14 times and extended three innings three times. He also recorded a save in May, after which the pitcher reiterated that he was ready to embrace any role. Thus, for now, Ian Hamilton seems an ideal arm to fit into the mighty shoes of Michael King.
Yanks Linked To Another Japanese Phenomena Shota Imanaga
Yoshinobu Yamamoto continues to play the waiting game, thus making the New York Yankees nervous. Amid a strong wave of uncertainty, the team has found a perfect alternative. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Yanks, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cubs are looking into Japanese lefty Shota Imanaga as a fallback option.
Imanaga went for a 7-5 record and a 2.66 ERA across 159 innings in the NPB last season. Moreover, the pitcher has a career ERA of 3.18 in 165 games, which includes 24 starts. Alongside Yamamoto, Shota also got posted in MLB last month. However, he is widely considered the fallback option for the team that lags behind in the Yoshinobu Yamamoto sweepstakes.