Yankees’ GM reveals that the team is still looking to improve pitching depth

MLB: General Manager's Meetings
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As the Yankees gear up for Spring Training, the team’s roster is seemingly set after the addition of Marcus Stroman in free agency. Finding their marquee rotation acquisition on a two-year $37 million deal, the team has shifted their focus to the bullpen, but General Manager Brian Cashman mentioned on Jim Bowden’s radio show today that the team is still talking to agents and having trade conversations in the hopes of making possible pitching additions. With the Yankees potentially looking to shore up their rotation and bullpen depth, there are still some options available.

It’s still unlikely that they add someone like Blake Snell in the coming weeks, but they’ve been linked to multiple relievers on the market and could search for a notable upgrade.

Yankees Still Active In Pitching Market

MLB: Colorado Rockies at San Diego Padres, yankees, blake snell
Sep 19, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) looks on from the dugout during the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Feinsand reported that the Yankees’ six-year $150 million offer to Blake Snell is the only formal offer that’s been extended to the NL Cy Young winner, but it’s unclear whether that offer would still be on the table. The Yankees didn’t sign Marcus Stroman in the hopes of later adding Blake Snell, but rather as a way to fill out their rotation at a price point they felt comfortable with.

Scott Boras likely isn’t coming down his price point for the left-hander, and while he would make the Yankees one of the best rotations in baseball, he could also preclude them from making other additions next winter or at the deadline. This is even more critical with the impending free agency of Juan Soto, who they hope to keep for the foreseeable future as the face of their franchise.

Hector Neris has emerged as an option the Yankees could target, although executives told Jack Curry that the two sides aren’t expected to reach an agreement either. Could things have changed since the signing of Josh Hader, who suddenly went to the Astros on a five-year $95 million deal? Perhaps, but the Texas Rangers were considered the frontrunners for the elite closer and were also linked to Hector Neris, and this could increase their aggressiveness for the veteran right-hander.

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Oct 23, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) pitches in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees during game four of the ALCS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Wandy Peralta and Keynan Middleton could be reunion options for the Yankees, as both arms aren’t expected to cost an unreasonable amount of money and have clear fits on the roster. In Peralta’s case, he’s a left-handed reliever who can give the Yankee bullpen more balance, with experience in high-leverage situations that has made him beloved in the Bronx. As for Middleton, the Yankees made tweaks to his pitch usage and he pitched to a sub-2.00 ERA with the team, so perhaps they have an affinity for his high-strikeout profile.

The Yankees could also look to deal young players like Oswald Peraza and Everson Pereira for upper-level MiLB depth, as teams could use young controllable position player talent. Neither player will fetch the return of a top-100 prospect, but they can net something of value considering their years of control. In Peraza’s case, both the Miami Marlins and San Francisco Giants have expressed a desire to add a defensively-sound middle infielder, and they have a plethora of pitching to offer in a deal.

If there’s a move left in the winter for the Yankees, it likely won’t be another nine-figure deal, but it could be a move that gives them more insurance for a rotation that has some legitimate question marks.