3 Yankees free agents who will leave, and 2 who will return in 2024

Change is coming to the Bronx. But how much?
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages
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Yankees Free Agent Who Will Leave: Keynan Middleton

The Yankees don't typically like to trade for players midseason, then let them walk at the conclusion of the campaign. If they're going to surrender valuable player assets in exchange for someone, then they're inclined to use their overflowing cups of money to make sure said rental sticks around.

With Middleton, though ...

The Yankees print bullpen arms, and are more likely than not to enter 2024 with a strong relief corps, even if we don't know many of the names who will comprise it yet. Middleton, 30 years old and coming off his strongest season, probably won't command a multi-year commitment, but will certainly earn a contract between $7-9 million for next season.

His 12 games with the Yankees featured 14.1 innings, seven hits, 17 Ks, and a 0.98 WHIP. His 1.88 tiny-sample-size ERA wasn't consistent with his FIP (3.26). He also overperformed his metrics with the White Sox, posting a 3.96 ERA/4.58 FIP.

And this was his strongest recent campaign. He's coming off a 5.29 ERA in Arizona in 2022, following up a 4.94 mark in 2021 in Seattle. If you can get him for a song, you do it, but ... any stretch commitment isn't worth it just to justify last summer's trade deadline. No matter how much he preferred the Yankees' culture to the White Sox.