Kyle Higashioka, Austin Wells

The sense of urgency within the New York Yankees clubhouse is visible. After all, it’s the need of the hour. After a lost season such as the 2023 MLB season campaign, Hal Steinbrenner has promised to make significant changes to fix the problems as well as send out a strong message. Basically, the team intends to fall back into the World Series-winning race.

However, it’s important to note that Hal Steinbrenner has stressed the fact that those changes are unlikely to come within the leadership program. This suggests that the roster will be undergoing a major overhaul. Meanwhile, one Yankee veteran catcher, Phillip Martine of SNY, believes might not make the cut to 2024 owing to excessive youth influx.


Yankee Veteran Kyle Higashioka Unlikely To Return In 2024, Claims MLB Analyst!

Kyle Higashioka
New York Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka greets teammates before a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, May 29, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)(APMedia)

Kyle Higashioka made his Major League debut with the New York Yankees in 2017. Initially serving as a backup catcher, Higashioka was known for his solid defensive skills and pitch-framing abilities. While his opportunities behind the plate were limited due to the presence of star catcher Gary Sanchez, Higashioka showcased his potential whenever he was called upon. The catcher’s breakthrough moment came in the 2020 season when he was given an extended opportunity to play. Gradually, Kyle fixated on his place as a regular catcher on the roster. However, the 2023 season brought along its own set of challenges.

Just like the rest of the lineup, Kyle Higashioka also struggled on the plate. He finished the year with a .236 batting average, ten homers, and 34 RBIs across 92 games. Moreover, the induction of prospect Austin Wells led to a reduction in playing time for Kyle. With Wells looked upon as the future of the franchise, Phillip Martinez of SNY believes Higashioka’s time in the Bronx is up. “Simply put, Higashioka has not put up the offensive production to warrant a spot on the team,” said Martinez. Not only that, the analyst believes that if Jose Trevino comes back healthy in 2024, the Yankees must go ahead with Trevino and Wells. Additionally, Higashioka remains an arbitration-eligible player who could possibly get non-tendered this off-season if the Bombers see no future.

Yankees Interested In Japanese Closer To Increase Bullpen Depth!

Yuki Matsui
Rakuten’s Yuki Matsui fires a pitch in the ninth inning against Seibu on Wednesday night in Sendai. The Yomiuri Shimbun

The New York Yankees’ bullpen stayed the best in 2023. However, that certainly won’t encourage the Bombers to pass on good opportunities to bolster the depth. Apparently, the Yanks have shown interest in a Japanese closer named Yuki Matsui. The pitcher has a career ERA of 2.43 ERA in 517 games played across ten years in Nippon Professional Baseball League.

The Yankees have not had a designated closer for a while. Thus, Yuki Matsui can find himself playing regularly if he lands in the Bronx. Having said that, it still remains unclear if the closer intends to make the move from Japan to the USA. While Matsui will become an international free agent in 2024, rumors have it that he might choose to return to Japan. Regardless, MLB teams will try their best to lure the closer to the global baseball platform.