The New York Yankees addressed major key issues this off-season. From strengthening the hitting lineup to bolstering the starting rotation, all areas seem covered ahead of the spring training. However, a particular aspect where in the Bombers could perhaps use a little help is the bullpen.
The Yankees lost a lot of relief pieces this off-season. They shipped Michael King, Jhony Brito, and Randy Vasquez to land Juan Soto. Besides, the team also traded key farm system pieces to land Alex Verdugo from the Boston Red Sox. So overall, the club is reportedly eyeing an ex-Astros reliever. But could face stiff competition from rivals.
Yankees, Astros And Rangers Active In Hector Neris’ Pursuit!
Earlier this week, the New York Yankees signed Marcus Stroman to put an end to rotational woes. The starting pitcher secured a two-year $37 million deal with a vesting option for a third year. However, the Bronx Bombers’ off-season campaign is far from over. As per rumors and speculations, the club intends to sign a couple of relief arms before spring training commences next month. While Keynan Middleton and Wandy Peralta are still available, Yanks seems inclined toward Hector Neris. The ex-Houston Astros reliever posted a career-best season in 2023. He logged a sublime 1.71 ERA across 71 games. Neris also struck out 77 hitters in the process. However, despite impressive stats, Neris entered free agency this off-season. Meanwhile, the Bronx Bombers seemed interested in landing Hector.
However, New York Post’s Jon Heyman suspects stiff competition. In his latest piece, Heyman claimed that the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers are both showing interest in Hector Neris. Since the Astros lost Kendall Graveman to shoulder surgery, they need reinforcements. However, the New York Yankees are equally invested. They are also floated as front runners. But again, the sweepstakes will come down to the monetary implications. The increased interest has prompted Neris to raise the stakes. Apparently, the pitcher is seeking a hefty $50 million contract. It may come as steep given the risk of regression Hector Neris brings along. However, if the Yanks intend to win a championship in 2024, taking the plunge would make the most sense. Overall, the situation is still evolving. While Yanks feels comfortable with its position, a splash move cannot be ruled out.
Josh Hader Signs With Astros As Yanks Miss Out!
In other news, the New York Yankees’ prime free agency target has landed with postseason rivals Houston Astros. As per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Houston Astros agreed to a five-year $95 million deal with reliever Josh Hader on Friday. Hader, often regarded as the best reliever in MLB, entered free agency in 2024.
While the New York Yankees expressed genuine interest, Josh Hader refused to budge on his ask. Also, since the Yanks did not feel the need for a proper closer, they chose to pass on Hader. Unsurprisingly, the Astros bagged the opportunity. They adhered to Hader’s demands and signed him into a long-term gambling contract. With that, the Bombers continue to lose options as the pitching market shrinks further.
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