In a noteworthy development within Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees are reportedly considering a reunion with right-handed reliever Keynan Middleton, who made a significant impact during his brief tenure with the team.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a deadline deal, Middleton delivered an impressive performance, posting a 1.88 ERA across 14 1/3 innings in 12 appearances. MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch suggests that the Yankees' interest in re-signing Middleton stems from these remarkable statistics.
Middleton's stint with the Yankees was not without challenges, as he spent a significant portion of his time on the injured list due to shoulder inflammation. However, he made a notable comeback to pitch in the season's final game.
Middleton's career has been marred by injuries, including a major setback from Tommy John surgery that sidelined him for most of the 2018-19 seasons. Despite these hurdles, he showed a resurgence this season, boasting a combined 3.38 ERA over 50 2/3 frames for both the White Sox and Yankees.
His performance was highlighted by elite strikeout, ground ball, and hard-contact rates. At 30, Middleton appears to be regaining his form, potentially making him a valuable asset in the Yankees' bullpen.
AL East Player Shuffle
The American League East continues to buzz with player movement and speculation.
The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angels are reportedly vying for outfielder Adam Duvall. Known for his right-handed power, Duvall contributed a .247/.303/.531 slash line with 21 homers for the Sox last season. His addition could balance the predominantly left-handed Boston outfield or offer the Angels more depth, given Mike Trout’s injury concerns and the unproven track records of Mickey Moniak and Taylor Ward.
In other AL East news, the Baltimore Orioles are facing inquiries about catching prospect Samuel Basallo. Despite his limited Double-A experience, Basallo, who doesn’t turn 20 until August, is drawing attention for his potential as a trade asset.
Described as a strong-armed catcher with a still-evolving skill set, Basallo might eventually find a role as a catcher/first base hybrid, co-existing with cornerstone player Adley Rutschman. Esteemed for his talent, Basallo ranks highly among MLB prospects, securing a spot in MLB Pipeline’s top 50 and second only to Jackson Holliday in the Orioles' system according to Baseball America.