Yankees acquire bullpen arm from White Sox

mlb: chicago white sox at oakland athletics, keynan middleton, yankees
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday evening saw the New York Yankees remain largely uninvolved at the trade deadline. Despite the team’s need for outfield support and an above-average bat to bolster their ranks, the Yankees let the deadline pass without making any significant additions.

The Yankees are clearly in need of an offensive boost. An alternative strategy could have been selling off some of their temporary players in exchange for adding prospects to their farm system. However, their sole move of the evening was acquiring right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton from the Chicago White Sox.

Keynan Middleton Joins the Yankees

Middleton has delivered a solid performance this season for the White Sox, pitching 36.1 innings and posting a 3.96 ERA, a 3.34 xFIP, an 82.1% left-on-base rate, a 51.6% ground ball rate, and an impressive 11.64 strikeouts per nine. Middleton also has a 25% HR/FB ratio, giving up 1.73 home runs per nine and 3.96 walks per nine.

Despite already boasting one of the strongest bullpens in the game, the Yankees continue to strengthen it, even while other areas of the team might need more support.

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A Closer Look at Middleton’s Pitching Techniques

Middleton’s repertoire includes a change-up, slider, and four-seam fastball. This season, his change-up has resulted in a .217 batting average against with a 35.5% whiff rate and a 21.6% put-away rate. His four-seam fastball has held batters to a .138 average, clocking in at an average speed of 95.6 mph and achieving a 33.8% whiff rate.

With an improvement in his slider, Middleton could prove to be a valuable addition to the Yankees’ bullpen.

Future Prospects for the Yankees

Despite this acquisition, the Yankees’ apparent inactivity at the trade deadline may not necessarily advance their World Series ambitions. As an alternative strategy, it might be beneficial to explore the potential of their farm system, giving some of their prospects the opportunity to prove their worth in the remainder of the season.