Keynan Middleton, New York Yankees
If you think highly enough of Keynan Middleton to trade for him during a lost 2023 season, why wouldn't you also try to ink him to a reasonable contract at the close of the campaign?
Like most Yankees trade additions, he's already succumbed to a shoulder issue, joining Ian Hamilton on the list of late-season, non-serious injuries that'll still probably close the books on 2023. That makes it a successful year for the power-fastball-throwing right-hander, who exudes emotion on the mound after inducing swings and misses, whether it's the seventh inning or the fourth.
The Yankees should've learned plenty from this year's August/September slate. Randy Vásquez and Jhony Brito should certainly be considered bullpen options moving forward; Albert Abreu should not be. Tommy Kahnle can still be effective, but goodness gracious, he should not be allowed to inherit runners. Maybe build him up a bit better next year. And Middleton? He can really pitch. In limited time in the Bronx, the 29-year-old struck out 17 in 13.1 innings, allowing just five hits, one earned run, six walks, and no homers. That's a 2.06 FIP, but ... his 4.58 mark/1.349 WHIP in far more duty in Chicago earlier in the season should give other teams pause.
Middleton has bounced around enough that it shouldn't take more than a two-year commitment to secure him, even at this age. Maybe the Yankees can get away with one year, $5 million? 2023 was inspiring, but the track record isn't there. New York should look to secure a bargain here, especially after Middleton had such effusive praise for their ethos after coming over midseason (and such shade for the ChiSox).