Winter meetings have always been a period of excitement and anticipation for MLB fans with respect to roster movements. And the New York Yankees’ front office delivered to offer solace to the dejected fanbase. Brian Cashman and Co. pulled off multiple moves during the 3-day long carnival as a part of roster upgradation.
Firstly, the Yankees engaged in a trade with arch-nemesis Boston Red Sox to acquire OF Alex Verdugo. The trade happened to be only the eighth exchange between the two franchises since the league commenced. Furthermore, the Bronx Bombers pulled off the trade of a lifetime by landing Juan Soto from the Padres. However, in the process, the Yanks sacrificed a lot of arms for which they must seek reinforcement.
Yankees Linked To Jordan Hicks For Bullpen Upgradation!
The New York Yankees were over the moon after pulling up the trade heist of a lifetime. At the stroke of midnight on Wednesday, the team landed generational talent Juan Soto from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade deal. While Soto’s addition upped the Bronx Bombers’ odds of winning a championship, the exchange deal cost them its pitching depth. The club had to part with Michael King, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez, Drew Thorpe, and many more, which depleted its bullpen depth. Undoubtedly, bullpen reinforcements are inevitable, and the Bombers apparently have set eyes on an ex-Cardinals reliever and closer, Jordan Hicks.
Jordan Hicks, known for his electric fastball and the ability to deliver in high-leverage situations, has been on the radar of several teams in recent months. After registering a 3.29 ERA season in 2023, the reliever is now a free agent. Moreover, he would be a perfect fit for the Yankees owing to his high-velocity pitches. The right-hander’s sinkers averaged 100.1 mph, whereas his four-seam fastballs averaged 100.3 mph. Having said that, Hicks’ control and extensive injury history could wary the Bronx Bombers. The pitcher endured Tommy John surgery in 2019 and averaged 4.4 walks per nine innings in 2023. Also, accommodating Hicks into the closer role could be an issue, as Clay Holmes handled those duties well in 2023 with 24 saves. Overall, Jordan Hicks could be a good fit, but some underlying issues regarding his durability cannot be ruled out.
Yanks To Prioritise Yoshinobu Yamamoto Over Bullpen Reinforcements!
Having said that, the New York Yankees’ top priority will be to land Japanese ace pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto this off-season. Before they seek any arms, the front office would try to land Yamamoto as soon as possible, before the competition swoops in. Meanwhile, as per Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the pitcher is likely to meet the Yanks on Monday next week.
Yoshinobu Yamamoto is expected to land in the USA by the weekend and meet with interested teams starting next week onwards. While the New York Yankees remain favorites, competition from Dodgers and Mets cannot be ruled out. The one with the most money at hand would win the bidding war. Yet, the Yanks stand as the favorite landing spot.