Yankees contemplating an extension for lefty reliever but Mets are interested

mlb: milwaukee brewers at new york yankees, wandy peralta
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has been proactive in scouring the free agent market for additional bullpen support. The team has been connected to a myriad of veterans, most recently Hector Neris, formally of the Houston Astros.

Neris rejected an $8.5 million player option for the 2024 season, hoping to land a multi-deal around that AAV price-point.

Andy Martino of SNY reported on Monday that Neris wants north of $7 million per year, so a two-year deal could suffice if the Yankees want to go down that road. However, they are still interested in bringing back one of their own veteran relief arms, Wandy Peralta.

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The Yankees Could Go With The Familiar Face

Peralta is 32 years old and coming off a good season with the Bombers, hosting a 2.83 ERA over 54 innings, including an 85.2% left-on-base rate and 57.4% ground ball rate. In fact, Peralta hasn’t logged an ERA above 3.00 since 2021, putting together two strong seasons. The Yankees have a heavily right-handed bullpen, so adding a bit of diversity with a lefty is certainly a good idea, and Peralta would be significantly cheaper than Neris.

Of course, Neris has a bit more playoff experience (only six innings more). He’s pitched in some high-leverage situations, giving him a bit of an advantage in that regard, but Peralta is still a piece that can support in a number of ways.

The Yankees tried to stay away from utilizing him in high-level situations last season, relying on Clay Holmes and Ian Hamilton primarily. The Bombers may feel as though Neris can be one of their key relief pitchers in 2024, but it is important to note that he’s coming off his best season and could regress.

Despite a 1.71 ERA last year over 68.1 innings, the 34-year-old hadn’t posted a sub-3.00 ERA since 2019 with the Philadelphia Phillies. That must be a minor concern for the Yankees that could steer them in a different direction at that price point.

However, according to Martino, the New York Mets are also interested in signing Peralta, so the Yanks have a few choices to make regarding risk–reward.