Yankees nearly acquired promising relief pitcher from Braves

mlb: atlanta braves at philadelphia phillies, yankees, nick anderson
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees, known for their continuous search for bullpen improvements, recently let go of three relief pitchers. This action clearly signals their intent to either engage in trade talks or explore the free-agent market for additional pitching support. While there are prospects within the organization that could be promoted, the Yankees have shown specific interest in certain players in the market.

Interest in Pitcher Nick Anderson

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that the Yankees had shown interest in pitcher Nick Anderson before his recent trade from the Braves to the Royals. Anderson, who was unlikely to be offered a new deal in arbitration by Atlanta, had a solid season in 2023. With the Braves, he recorded a 3.06 ERA across 35.1 bullpen innings, boasting an impressive 9.17 strikeouts per nine innings, a 71.8% left-on-base rate, and a 41.7% ground ball rate.

At 33, Anderson presents an economical choice, with two more years of arbitration eligibility before hitting free agency in 2026. Despite his decent performance last season, concerns about his injury history and time missed due to injuries cannot be overlooked.

The Yankees’ interest in Anderson underscores their strategy to bolster their bullpen, particularly through shrewd acquisitions in the trade market. Players like Ian Hamilton and Clay Holmes have previously demonstrated significant improvement and reached their potential with the Yankees, suggesting that the team is adept at identifying and developing under-the-radar talent in the bullpen.

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