Monday, July 20, 2015

Jonathan Papelbon to the Yankees?

It happens every single year, the All-Star Game is played and all the Major League Baseball news and attention turns to the July 31st trading deadline. The pretenders start selling off their high priced veterans and aging stars while the contenders continue to stockpile with the hopes of making a deep October run. The Yankees are always linked to every top player on the market regardless of realism or the state of the roster every single season and 2015 will be no different. The Yankees will undoubtedly be linked to Cole Hamels, David Price, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, Brandon Phillips, Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Papelbon.

Despite the Yankees having arguably the best bullpen in the American League this season New York is still linked to the Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. While Papelbon is the highest paid closer in the game right now he's not the best closer and wouldn't be the best reliever on the club with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances on the roster, but that doesn't mean Papelbon would be bad. Papelbon still strikes out enough batters, 9.4 K/9, has great control, 1.9 BB/9, has great peripherals with a 2.75 FIP and a 2.60 ERA and would make the Yankees bullpen awfully dangerous.

Taking either Branden Pinder/Bryan Mitchell or Chris Capuano out of this bullpen, making Adam Warren the long relief pitcher, and adding Papelbon makes this bullpen awfully dangerous. Having three closers in the bullpen is like the Yankees having three center fielders in the outfield, which they do in Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury and Chris Young, which makes the team awfully flexible but would the cost be worth it?

Yes and no. The Yankees don't necessarily need Papelbon or any other relief pitcher this season but every other team in the American League East Division does, especially the Toronto Blue Jays. Keeping Papelbon out of Boston, Tampa, Baltimore or Toronto helps the Yankees in the second half while putting some distance between the clubs in the division even more. If the Yankees could get Papelbon for a pair of mid-level prospects or prospects not named Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird or Jorge Mateo I say pull the trigger and shorten these games from six inning games to five inning games while winning an American League East Division title, an American League pennant and possibly another World Series.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)