4 former Yankees shining in spring training to the frustration of fans

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Keynan Middleton

There's admittedly no ill-will towards Keynan Middleton, who was the Yankees' lone trade acquisition in 2023, which was viewed as borderline psychotic behavior by the front office because that roster either needed to go full buy mode or full sell mode. Brian Cashman opted to trade for a reliever and call it a day.

Middleton logged 13.1 innings before essentially missing the entire final month of the year (again, save for one inning on Sept. 29). The Yankees probably made the right call not bringing him back because he ended up costing the St. Louis Cardinals $6 million for 2024. The Yankees don't need to spend that kind of money on mid-relief arms, especially with how good they are at producing them on the cheap.

But now the Yankees' bullpen is going through it. Scott Effross, Tommy Kahnle and Lou Trivino are all injured, while Ron Marinaccio doesn't look like a serviceable player. Sure would've helped to have Middleton, who has tossed three scoreless frames this spring while allowing two hits and no walks.

Big thanks to Cash and Key for those 14 innings and no support beyond that.