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The New York Yankees are reuniting with reliever Tommy Kahnle after agreeing to a two-year, $11.5 million contract, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Kahnle spent the 2022 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, striking out 14 batters and earning one save over 12.2 innings of work. Before that, he was a member of the Yankees for three and a half years.
The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2020, which was why his usage this past year was so limited. Before that, he had been an effective option out of New York’s bullpen. Over 129 appearances, he had a 3.23 FIP and averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Bronx Bombers obviously saw enough from Kahnle to believe he can continue to be a consistent contributor moving forward.
Aroldis Chapman left as a free agent this offseason, and while letting him walk was an understandable decision, he’s one fewer reliever New York will have in 2023. Scott Effross is out of the picture, too, after getting Tommy John surgery, while Michael King is continuing to recover from his fractured elbow.
Even assuming Clay Holmes will remain the full-time closer, there was a clear need to fortify the bullpen. Given the post-Tommy John questions still surrounding Kahnle, you have to wonder whether further reinforcements will be coming to the Big Apple.