Yankees acquire Kenyan Middleton backup plan in trade with Dodgers

The New York Yankees' bullpen was dealt a significant blow with the loss of Keynan Middleton. However, they appear to have found their backup plan

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three
Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three / Norm Hall/GettyImages
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Late last week, the New York Yankees were dealt a significant blow when right-hander Keynan Middleton signed a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals. This left the Bronx Bombers in need of a backup plan.

Fortunately, it appears that they have found their man.

On Monday, the Yankees pivoted and acquired left-hander Caleb Ferguson from the Los Angeles Dodgers. The news was first reported by Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Yankees acquire Caleb Ferguson to bolster bullpen

The 27-year-old left-hander pitched to a 3.43 ERA with the Dodgers over 60.1 innings in 2023. He also posted a WHIP of 1.44 and struck out 70 batters over his 68 appearances.

In exchange for Ferguson, the Yankees are sending left-hander Matt Gage to Los Angeles.

After losing Middleton, the Yankees were forced to go back to the drawing board to find a key reliever.

But Ferguson figures to be their Plan B.

The left-hander brings swing-and-miss capability to the Yankees bullpen, having averaged 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He also has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.04.

The Yankees were in need of some more pitching, and Ferguson should help them solidify their bullpen. He's a high-leverage option to go along with Clay Holmes, Ron Marinaccio,, Jonathan Loaisiga, Ian Hamilton, Tommy Kahnle, and Clarke Schmidt.

In addition, the Yankees are also getting Scott Effross back, who missed 2023 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Ferguson gives them a solid option from the left side.

New York's bullpen looks strong heading into 2024 as they attempt to bounce back from a disappointing finish to the 2023 season.

After six straight years in the postseason, including a 99-win campaign in 2022, New York fell short of October last year, finishing with a record of 82-80 and falling to fourth place in the ever competitive AL East.

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