Report: Yankees Are Low-Balling Free Agent Relievers

The New York Yankees have gone out this offseason and acquired Juan Soto via trade, and have signed Marcus Stroman to add to their rotation, but they aren't done yet, still hoping to beef up the pitching staff further. The bullpen is a key objective at the moment, but according to MLB insider Jon Heyman, they're not doing themselves any favors.

They are alleged to be making low offers, perhaps due to the calendar or a supply-demand perception. 

Among the relievers that the Yankees have supposedly targeted and low-balled thus far are Hector Neris, Phil Maton, Ryan Brasier and Wandy Peralta. Neris would probably be the most impactful of that group. 

The 34-year-old former Philadelphia Phillies closer is said to be seeking a one- or two-year deal somewhere in the range of $7-to-$11 million per season. In 2023, he had arguably his best year, with a 1.71 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with the Houston Astros. He also has 89 career saves, but only a handful since 2021.

Earlier this month, the Yankees and the Texas Rangers were said to be the leading candidates to land Neris.

If the Pinstripers are indeed looking to save money in their bullpen shopping, YES’ Jack Curry suggests that they could bring back Keynan Middleton instead. As an unrestricted free agent, he has yet to surpass $800,000 in earnings in any single season, though this is his first time as a UFA. He pitched 14 innings in the Bronx after being acquired late in the season, and showed well, posting a 1.88 ERA while striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings. 

The Yankees are gunshy about going after top starter Blake Snell, suggests Heyman, and rightfully so after the disaster of the huge Carlos Rodon signing last winter. Rodon started just 14 games due to injury, and posted a 6.85 ERA in those 64 innings he did throw. 

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