Off-season finally commences this week, and the New York Yankees are out there making moves. In a very first and bold move, the front office outrighted as many as six non-tender candidates. The list included top names who had been a key part of the 2023 season roster. Having said that, these players’ ouster suggests an incoming roster overhaul in the near future.
To be fair, the roster overhaul was always on the cards as the Yankees wrapped up the season early this year without a playoff berth in hand. The front office is determined to change the narrative and is likely to take tough steps going forward. Meanwhile, fresh free agency rumors have linked the Yanks to a Cuban reliever who has just been granted free agency status by MLB.
Yankees Among Top Suitors For Cuban Reliever Yariel Rodriguez!
Yariel Rodriguez, a hard-throwing right-handed reliever, played Nippon Professional Baseball for Chunichi Dragons from 2020-2022. He wanted to move to MLB this year itself. However, Dragons declared that the pitcher was still under contract and thus restricted his movements. Eventually, Yariel didn’t pitch the whole year before getting released on October 5. Subsequently, MLB granted him free-agency status as soon as the off-season commenced. So now that Rodriguez has entered MLB, Francys Romero made a list of strong suitors for the reliever, which featured the New York Yankees. At this point, the Yanks are being linked to almost every other free agent.
However, the latest one makes a lot of sense. With Michael King allegedly moving into the starting rotation, the Yankee bullpen will enter 2024 without a lead reliever. Yariel Rodriguez seems a perfect like-for-like replacement. He threw 94-97 MHP on average in NPB with good command over the curve and slider. Not only that, the pitcher posted a 1.15 ERA across 56 outings in 2022. Overall, his numbers and potential looks good. Thus, Romero feels he would be a perfect fit in the Bronx and expects his market value to range from 40-70 million for a multi-year contract. It’s a steal deal for a franchise like the Bronx Bombers. Having said that, the Astros, Rangers, Phillies, Blue Jays, and Padres, among many others, are also listed as potential suitors for the reliever. Therefore, the Yanks will face intense competition if they decide to land Yariel Rodriguez.
Yanks Open To Reunion With Former Infielder?
Miguel Andujar, the 28-year-old infielder, has been put on waivers by San Diego Padres. Miguel served in the pinstripes for six years before the Yankees designated him for assignment in 2022. Having said that, the infielder witnessed a short surge in September this year. In 30 games, Miguel posted a .250 batting average with four homers and 18 RBIs.
For what it’s worth, Andujar is still 28, and with the right guidance, he has the potential to attain success in the long term. Also, Miguel can solve the third base crisis, and past experience can also serve as an added advantage. A short-term two-year contract seems ideal to test the baseman. Overall, it’s a gamble move the Yankees can consider taking a plunge on.