Yankees should bring back fan-favorite bullpen arm

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have been able to put together some excellent bullpens in the last few years. That has been their trademark for nearly a decade now. The 2023 was no exception to the rule: the unit ranked first in the league in ERA, with a rock-solid 3.34 mark.

That means, if possible, the organization needs to make sure the unit stays together. Yes, they will lose a player or two, but the idea is that most of the names return for 2024.

Left-hander Wandy Peralta is a free agent, and he presents a potentially challenging case for the Yankees. The 32-year-old posted a 2.83 ERA in 2023 in 54 innings. Those numbers are excellent on the surface, but he also posted a rather high 13.2 percent walk rate, a 5.05 FIP, and a -0.5 fWAR.

He has been one of the most consistent Yankees relievers in the last three years

Still, bringing him back would be a smart decision if we consider his overall body of work with the Yankees. Since landing in the Bronx in the Mike Tauchman trade, he has a 2.82 ERA in 153 innings, with 133 strikeouts and a whole lot of groundballs that help the team get out of numerous jams.

Peralta has a leg up over other lefties because of his ability to dominate hitters of both hands. With no platoon split, he is as consistent as they come. He is also highly versatile, helping the Yankees in a variety of roles over the years: from middle reliever to setup man to closer.

He is still at a good age (32), and his 57.4 percent groundball rate gives him a very nice floor, as he generally avoids hard contact. He will be free to negotiate with any team, but the mutual interest in a reunion should be there, and if he is healed from the triceps injury that affected him near the end of the season, there is no reason to think the two parts can’t reach an agreement.