Yankees Linked to Veteran Reliever Coming Off Career Season

The Yankees had the best bullpen in the American League last season and are looking to add to it.

Oct 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) reacts
Oct 22, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) reacts / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Yankees are still pursuing pitching after inking starer Marcus Stroman to a two-year, $37 million deal on Friday. With Stroman in the fold, the Yankees’ rotation for this upcoming season is almost complete.

However, they are looking to add to the bullpen, which had the best ERA (3.34) in the American League in 2023.

Yankees Rumors: New York Emerges as Potential Frontrunner for Hector Neris

Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported Saturday night that the Yankees and Texas Rangers have emerged as potential frontrunners to sign free-agent relief pitcher Hector Neris. 

Neris is coming off an outstanding 2023 season with the Houston Astros, where he had a 6-3 record and a 1.71 ERA (career-best) in 71 games. The right-handed pitcher also recorded 71 strikeouts in 68.1 innings pitched.

The 34-year-old Neris spent the last two years with the Astros, where he had a 2.69 ERA after starting his career with the Philadelphia Phillies (eight seasons). The veteran reliever dominated opponents last season, leaning heavily on the four-seam fastball and split-finger. 

The split-finger is Neris’ best pitch as he can use it to get ahead in counts or to put hitters away (22.9% put away). Last season, the 34-year-old’s signature ball clocked in at 82.9 mph and held opponents to a .171 batting average.

If the Yankees can land Neris and throw him into the backend of the bullpen to be utilized in the late innings, New York will be a force to be reckoned with this season. The Yankees are favored to win the AL East (+140) and AL pennant (+450), according to FanDuel Sportsbook. However, we know the games still have to be played, and the Yankees have a lot to prove after last season.

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