The New York Yankees sacrificed its pitching depth this off-season to trade potent outfielders. While the team gave up four arms to land Juan Soto, Alex Verdugo landed in the Bronx at the cost of three pitchers. Thus, the Bronx Bombers are staring at an empty bullpen just weeks ahead of spring training sessions.
Having said that, the free agent market is still open, and the New York Yankees are more active than any other team. However, the options are kind of shrinking as Yoshinobu Yamamoto continues to hold up teams in his sweepstakes. Amid this, the team was linked to a Cuban relief pitcher who recently made waves during his stint with the Dragons in the NPB.
Yankees Named Landing Spot For Cuban Hurler Yariel Rodriguez!
A lot of players are transitioning from NPB to MLB this off-season. After Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Shota Imanga got posted, another relief pitcher made his way to the big leagues. As per reports, right-handed reliever Yariel Rodriguez has officially become a MLB free agent after his team, the Dragons, posted him on the market. Subsequently, the New York Yankees were floated as the top landing spot. Hailing from Havana, Cuba, Yariel Rodriguez has emerged as one of the standout prospects in the international free-agent market. Known for his electric fastball, sharp breaking pitches, and advanced command on the mound, Rodríguez brings a unique combination to the table.
Moreover, rumors have it that the New York Yankees seem interested in Rodriguez. In 2024, the Bronx Bombers plan a shift from the traditional pitching pattern. Rather than having a starter to pitch 5–6 innings, the Yanks plan on using relief pitchers as openers. Yankee’s pitching coach Matt Blake hinted at the same earlier this off-season. Thus, Yariel Rodriguez is a perfect candidate for that strategy with a 1.48 ERA across 56 games in 2022. Not only that, the pitcher has a 3.49 ERA across three NPB seasons. The scouting reports on Rodriguez highlight his ability to mix pitches effectively, keep hitters off balance, and execute pitches in pressure situations. These qualities make him a potential asset not only in the regular season but also in crucial postseason moments, aligning with the Yanks’ perennial championship aspirations.
New York City Rivals To Clash For Yoshinobu Yamamoto!
Meanwhile, the New York Yankees’ primary off-season goal still remains unfinished. Yoshinobu Yamamoto continues to give the Bronx Bombers a hard time with his notorious chasing game. However, if analysts are to be believed, the final fight will come down to the city rivals, the Yanks and the Mets. The duo has remained extensively involved in the sweepstakes and practically gave everything to lure the ace pitcher.
However, Yoshinobu Yamamoto is taking forever to come to a decision. He met the Yankees and Mets twice this month. While he dined with Steve Cohen, a Yankee contingent featuring captain Aaron Judge and former legend CC Sabathia hosted Yamamoto in the Bronx. The fight will likely last till the January 4 deadline as both teams continue to put their best foot forward.