Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees’ longest-serving general manager, confirmed that the team is happy with the pitching depth for now. This off-season, the club only made one significant addition to the pitching department in the form of Marcus Stroman. However, Cashman clarified that a couple of additions in the future cannot be ruled out.
Apparently, if the Yankees deem a piece a perfect fit, they would surely pursue the talent. The doors of improvement will always remain open. However, this off-season, any more acquisitions seem unlikely per se. This week itself, the Bronx Bombers lost two top-tier free-agent relief pitchers to rival teams.
Robert Stephenson In Agreement With Phillies!
This off-season, the New York Yankees traded too many relief pitchers to bolster outfield depth. After minor leaguers landed in Boston, Michael King, Randy Vasquez, Jhony Brito, and Drew Thorpe went to the Padres in respective trade deals. Thus, as it stands, the team lags bullpen depth. To ensure the team does not fall short of backup options in the 2024 season, the front office pursued a couple of high-end pitchers. However, the free agency market remains inflated right now. Moreover, the Bombers’ payroll has soared to new heights. Therefore, the current circumstances didn’t allow the club to land any top-tier talent. Regardless, the Yanks remained linked to a couple of pieces. Robert Stephenson, Josh Hader, and Hector Neris were listed as relievers of interest for the Bombers.
Besides, the Yankees were also floated as a top landing spot for ex-Yankee pitchers Keynan Middleton and Wandy Peralta. However, the Bronx Bombers can scratch off Robert Stephenson from their shopping list for this off-season. As per multiple reports, the relief pitcher agreed to a staggering three-year $33 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. The deal is pending physical. And also, the Phillies need to make space for Stephenson on the 40-man roster before officiating the contract. Robert pitched a 3.10 ERA across 60 games in 2023 with the Pirates and Rays combined. His exceptional sliders, cutters, and overall pitching prowess made him a potent relief candidate. However, the Yanks have missed an opportunity. Stephenson could have been a closer the team perhaps needed. Regardless, Middleton and Peralta are still available, if the team is looking for quick fixes.
Yankees Fall Short As Josh Hader Signs With Astros!
The most sought-after relief pitcher of this off-season, Josh Hader, has reportedly signed a record deal with the Houston Astros. As per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Hader agreed to a five-year contract with the Astros for a whopping salary of $95 million. Since no amount of the salary has been deferred, Hader’s contract remains the largest ever for a relief pitcher.
Meanwhile, it was another opportunity lost for the New York Yankees. They apparently had eyes on Josh Hader. However, Hader’s asking price proved to be too steep. With that, the market for pitching reinforcement has shrunk further. The Yankees would most likely have to settle with the current roster at their helm. Barring a couple of backup options, fans must not expect any more major signings in the Bronx.
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