How Wandy Peralta ‘Wandered’ into the Hearts of New York Yankees’ Fans
On the best teams, for every multi-million dollar superstar, there is an underpaid newcomer that makes a big impact. The New York Yankees have a plethora of players that fit the first category: Gerrit Cole in the rotation, Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup, and Aroldis Chapman in the bullpen, just to name a few.
That said, as the season has progressed, the second category has begun to fill-up, too. For every Cole, there's been a Cortes. For every Stanton, there's been a Velazquez.
And, for every Aroldis Chapman, there's been a Wandy Peralta.
Making $795,000, there are six pitchers making more money than Wandy Peralta on the New York Yankees. There may not, however, be six pitchers that have provided more value and versatility than Peralta over the last month. The Yankees acquired Peralta on April 27, 2021, sending outfielder Mike Tauchman to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for the southpaw.
That move, at the time, did not feel right. New York was struggling immensely at the time, and the outfield was ravaged by injury. Adding another reliever to a bullpen that, at the time, was cruising didn't seem like a necessary move for Brian Cashman to make.
All of a sudden, however, Aroldis Chapman lost his mojo. All of a sudden, Jonathan Loasiga and Chad Green and Lucas Luetge began to show signs of fatigue. All of a sudden, Zack Britton said he wasn't the closer anymore.
All of a sudden, Peralta's services were in high demand. And so far, he's delivered.
Peralta has thrown in 10 games in the month of August, and has yet to surrender an earned run. He left the team with COVID-19 in July with a 5.26 ERA. Since he returned in early August, that number has dropped to 3.62. He's also 2-for-2 in save opportunities, including nailing down the sweep of the Atlanta Braves by recording the final out on Tuesday.
I've said it before and said it again, the depth of this team reflects the depth of a legitimate World Series contender. For every move to bring in a Rizzo or a Gallo, moves for players like Peralta and Andrew Heaney (yes, even him) are what get you through the dog-days of August and September.
So, while the trade didn't make a ton of sense back in April, the seemingly-minor acquisition of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic native Wandy Peralta is paying major dividends when it matters most for New York.