The New York Yankees have had as productive of an offseason as anyone in the league other than the Dodgers, trading for Juan Soto and signing Marcus Stroman to fill two huge needs. Despite that, there's a good chance that the Yankees aren't even favored in the AL East following the Corbin Burnes trade to Baltimore, and with the Tampa Bay Rays stealing another potential Yankees target, New York could be the third-best team in the division.
With the Yankees already improving their lineup and rotation, they've shifted focus to the bullpen. Josh Hader always seemed like a bit of a pipe dream because of his price tag, and he wound up in Houston. Turns out, Hader isn't the only one they missed out on. Wandy Peralta signed with the Padres. Keynan Middleton is a Cardinal.
Now, Phil Maton is signing with the Rays according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand in a move that could wind up haunting the Yankees.
Yankees running out of bullpen options as Phil Maton signs with the Rays
Maton is one of four relievers that Jon Heyman of the NY Post linked to the Yankees just eight days ago. He's the third of four on that list to have signed since Heyman reported New York's interest, with Ryan Brasier being the only one left. The bullpen market is thinning, and Maton was one of the best options left.
The right-hander has been a workhorse of late, appearing in at least 65 games in each of the last three seasons. This past season was his best, as the 30-year-old posted a 3.00 ERA in 68 appearances for the Astros. With the Yankees losing Middleton and Peralta to other teams they could use an arm like Maton but instead have to watch him pitch in big spots against them with the Rays.
Brasier and Ryne Stanek are the best relievers available by far, so all the Yankees can do now is hope one of them falls in their lap. Their bullpen is usually a strength, but things look as shaky as they have in years outside of Clay Holmes in their 'pen.