The New York Yankees‘ heavy lifting is complete. Can’t say the same for the Mets and Steve Cohen, but Hal Steinbrenner dropping $533.5 million this offseason is a feat only a few franchises can accomplish.
But wait … Aaron Judge said they might not be done! Stay tuned! For now, though, we’ll assume, for the sake of our unbridled optimism, that the considerable spending is curbed until 2024.
That likely means the Yankees will have to shop light on the free agent market if they feel additions still need to be made on that front (though we’d still bank on a few trades being executed before Opening Day, since that’s where the team will be able to find valuable, above-average talent).
With left field and the bullpen being the greatest areas of need at the moment, the Yankees are in luck, because there’s some legitimate cost-effective shopping to be done for those positions in free agency.
Let’s focus on the bullpen, though, because at the moment the Yankees could technically get by with Oswaldo Cabrera, Aaron Hicks or Estevan Florial in left field to kick off the 2023 season.
3 lefty relievers Yankees can target in free agency without breaking the bank
3. Matt Moore
I’ve talked about this a number of times already. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the Yankees should absolutely be in on Matt Moore, especially with the lack of lefties in the ‘pen following the departures of Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, JP Sears and Ken Waldichuk. Will Wandy Peralta and Lucas Luetge be enough in 2023?
Moore had a career year in 2022, and will be heading into his age-34 season. It was the first campaign of his as a full-time reliever, and the Rangers reaped tremendous benefits. The veteran lefty pitched to a 1.95 ERA, 2.98 FIP and 1.18 WHIP with 83 strikeouts in 63 games (74 innings).
Throw in a very promising peripheral metric profile, and Moore could be hitting a late-career stride (he was only below-average in walk percentage, curveball spin and extension). Out of his 74 innings pitched, 59.2 came between innings 7-9, and 48 came between innings 7-8.
This is an asset the Yankees would be wise to import and put under Matt Blake.