Welcome On Board: New York Yankees Sign This Free Agent-To-Be…

Yes, the New York Yankees certainly have to pursue Juan Soto as a free agent, but they have another impending free agent worth re-signing.

All the talk around the New York Yankees has been about outfielder Juan Soto, and it’s certainly justified.

Part of the logic in trading for Soto, along with upgrading the outfield, was to give Soto a taste of life in New York City before he starts courting potential free-agent suitors.

The left-handed hitting Soto has some of the best offensive numbers in the American League, and all signs point toward him being a prime candidate for AL MVP come season’s end.

But the Yankees have other impending free agents, including one that is worthy of re-signing.

Clay Holmes, one could argue, is the American League’s best closer right now. Entering Sunday’s action, he had nine saves with a 1-0 record and no ERA. Yep, the 31-year-old right-hander had not given up a run in 13 innings of work. USA Today pointed out that Holmes has been “lights out” to start the season.

The Yankees traded five players this offseason to acquire the All-Star slugger, who has just one season left before he hits free agency, where he’s likely to receive no worse than the game’s second largest payday behind Shohei Ohtani.

He isn’t just cruising toward a third straight season with at least 20 saves and a sub-.300 ERA. He could be on his way to a career season. He had a career-high 24 saves last season and made his only All-Star Game appearance in 2022 when he recorded 20 saves.

Holmes is making $6 million this season. He’s not going to make Josh Hader money on the open market. Hader signed a five-year deal with the Houston Astros in which he’ll be paid $19 million each season. He has been one of the game’s best closers for the past several years but he’s had an awful start in Houston.

Such is the mercurial nature of closing. Holmes knows that all too well.

But, sometimes the devil that you know is better than the one you don’t, and if that’s the logic, then it makes sense for the Yankees to pursue him as well after the season.

Earlier this year the New York Post speculated that Holmes could be had for a three-year extension that would essentially be valued at $10 million per year.

With each save, Holmes may be helping himself in free agency as much as Soto, whether he stays in the Bronx or not.

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