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Michael Kopech Could Be Good For Yankees Bullpen

The New York Yankees are amongst other teams that have reportedly shown interest in closer Michael Kopech.

Michael Kopech Could Be Good To Yankees Bullpen

Josh Goldberg of The Score reported that the Yankees are joined by the Kansas City Royals and the Philadelphia Phillies in displaying interest in Chicago White Sox closer Michael Kopech.

Kopech has five professional seasons under his belt. He missed 2019 due to an injury and missed 2020 because he opted out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The right-hander was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round, 33rd overall.

Kopech is in his final year with the White Sox. He’s signed through 2024 and will be eligible for arbitration in 2025.

How Would Michael Kopech Fit The Yankees?

We’ve determined that Kopech, being in the last year of his contract, could very well be a rental player. We’ve also determined that Yankees ownership recognizes the financial constraint that is about to travel their way.

Various key pieces will also be heading into arbitration, and the dollars will be allocated where needed. Let’s not forget the biggest bill, estimated to be upwards of $400-$500 million for Juan Soto.

The other part of the equation is that the Yankees have a closer. Clay Holmes is ranked third-best in the league. Holmes is also in the boat of arbitration and is signed through 2024. Who do you go with? Or do you take both?

Michael Kopech Compares To Clay Holmes

As mentioned, Holmes is ranked third overall for closers in 2024. He has 19 saves, four blown saves, an 82.6% save rate, and a 1.80 ERA over 30 innings.

Kopech has thrown 29 and ⅓ innings in 29 appearances. He has five saves, four blown saves, a 55.6% save rate, and a 4.91 ERA. These are two different ends of the spectrum.

At this point, we know where the money must be prioritized. Holmes is the obvious choice due to the demand for effective closers. This doesn’t mean you close the door on Kopech.

The Yankees should re-sign Holmes this season while trading affordable prospects to retain Kopech. Due to his current status, a one-year contract won’t dent the wallet.

Kopech possesses good pitching traits, sitting up to 98-99 mph on his fastball. He also employs a high-80s slider and a low-90s cutter. His repertoire is very workable, and he can be a great number-two option on the back end of the bullpen. His work can entail being a part-time closer and consistent set-up man. As per Holmes, the Yankees must find a way to keep their closer intact, as established closers are a rarity.

Main Photo Credits: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


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