On paper, the New York Yankees have one of the best bullpens in baseball heading to the 2023 season. Spring training is about two months away, but that doesn’t mean the Yankees have stopped adding pieces. They recently signed starting pitcher Carlos Rodon and inked Tommy Kahnle to a two-year, $11.5 million deal. Kahnle has been their only legitimate bullpen edition this off-season, despite having pitched less than 14 innings over the last three seasons combined.
General manager Brian Cashman hasn’t invested a ton in the bullpen, clearing Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman off the books, but that could change if they decide to trade some of their assets for relief support. However, they have six impact arms making only $11.65 million in total next year, which is an incredible number that showcases the team’s youth development and ability to find gems.
Six important bullpen arms for the Yankees making next to nothing:
Wandy Peralta: $3M projected salary
Wandy Peralta was an unsung hero for the Bombers in 2022. At 30 years old, he recorded a 2.72 ERA, 3.61 xFIP, and 7.51 strikeouts per nine across 56.1 innings. He is a fantastic high-leverage relief arm that manager Aaron Boone heavily relies on. He will yet again play another big role in the team’s bullpen next season and at a projected $3 million price point.
For that level of quality, he’s an absolute steal. Wandy is making significantly less than Kahnle but has pitched over 100 innings in the past two years combined, showcasing his reliability.
Ron Marinaccio: $700K
The rise of Ron Marinaccio was an exciting storyline last season. At 27 years old, he enjoyed a 2.05 ERA across 44 innings. He posted 11.45 strikeouts per nine and an 81.3% left-on-base rate. He features one of the best change-ups on the entire team, curating 18% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher. His 4-seam fastball also averaged out at 94.6 mph with 45% more horizontal movement. The Yankees have big plans for Ron in 2023, especially as a high-leverage pitcher making just $700K.
Greg Weissert: $700K
The Bombers expect to elevate Greg Weissert into a far more potent role next season. He will likely follow in the same footsteps as Marinaccio but did struggle to a degree over 12 appearances in 2022. He finished with a 5.56 ERA and 8.74 strikeouts per nine, but it is important to note that he didn’t allow a hit in his last four appearances during the regular season. With incredible breaking stuff, Weissert projects to be a key cog in the bullpen moving forward.
Jonathan Loáisiga: $2M projected salary
When Jonathan Loáisiga is playing at the top of his game, he’s one of the best bullpen arms in baseball. Back in 2021, he pitched 70.2 innings, recording 2.17 ERA, 3.15 xFIP, and 8.79 strikeouts per nine. The Yankees know how lethal he can be when healthy, but he dealt with a shoulder injury early in the season that disrupted his flow.
Loáisiga is estimated to earn $2 million for the 2023 season, an incredibly low price point given his quality.
Michael King: $1.75M projected salary
If not for a season-ending injury, Michael King was trending toward an All-Star appearance in 2022. At 27 years old, he earns a 2.29 ERA, 2.42 xFIP, and 11.65 strikeouts per nine across 51 innings.
King will be returning from an elbow injury, so it is difficult to determine what his stat line will look like. However, his Steamer projections have him landing a 3.26 ERA across 58 innings, which is still efficient.
Clay Holmes: $3.5M projected salary
Clay Holmes might’ve been the best closer in baseball last season if not for fatigue settling in and an injury down the stretch.
Despite having a rocky second half, he still finished with a 2.54 ERA, 2.90 xFIP, and 9.19 strikeouts per 9 over 63.2 innings. His lethal sinker/slider combination has become a staple in the Yankees’ bullpen, and Holmes has been trusted in the biggest moments. He’s cemented as the Yankees’ primary closer next year, looking to bounce back after a tough close to the 2022 season.
For a pitcher of his quality, $3.5 million is an absolute steal, especially if he can remain consistent throughout the entire year.