Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Yankees Search for Bullpen Help this Offseason

If the Yankees are serious about making a run at the postseason in 2017, and by all accounts and by all the interviews and such given by the Yankees brass they are planning to be back and at least competitive in 2017, the team is going to need some bullpen help. I am very confident that Dellin Betances could figure it out as the closer and his last couple of weeks were merely just a blip on the radar to me rather than the norm. I chalk it up to fatigue, nothing more, so this post is not a “sky is falling” thread but instead just a thread to show you why the Yankees need at least one bullpen arm this winter and what it could mean to everyone already in the bullpen. 

I said all that and this is going to sound contradictory of me but hear me out before you begin to roll your eyes. I want to move Dellin out of the closers role. I believe he could be a closer and if the Yankees can’t get a closer then I feel 100% confident with him as the closer. It is just my personal belief that Dellin’s true value is that of a pitcher who can come in during a jam and strike out a couple batters or a pitcher that can give you multiple innings every other day rather than being saved for one inning at a time in the 9th. He can pitch the ninth just fine but I simply think he is better suited as a setup man and as a fire man. With that said there are a couple interesting closers out there on the market that could make this come true for New York and the man at the top of everyone’s list is a man that was wearing a Yankees uniform not too long ago, Aroldis Chapman. 

Chapman is still pitching for the Cubs as they look to reverse to Curse of the Billy Goat but his tenure there ends, even if just temporarily, when the last out is recorded for Chicago this season. The Yankees should do what they have to in order to bring Chapman back because he’s a special talent that’s still reasonably young and can handle the bright lights of any stadium. Those are all reasons why the Yankees should bring him back so those are also the same reasons that other teams will be interested in him so it will be just as important for the Yankees to have a Plan B of sorts. Who are those Plan B’s you ask? Well I’m glad that you did. 

Mark Melancon, another former Yankees player and prospect that the team developed before trading away prematurely during the latter years of the George Steinbrenner era, is also expected to hit the free agent market this season after impressing with the Pittsburgh Pirates as their closer while most recently pitching for Washington Nationals. Melancon would fit as a closer in New York and while he lacks the dominance that Chapman has he more than makes up for it in his ability to throw strikes and simply get people out. 

The final piece the Yankees could add is another dominant reliever that many may not know about, Kenley Jansen. Jansen is the product of East Coast bias as most of his saves made for the Los Angeles Dodgers are happening at 1:00 – 2:00 am in the morning on the East Coast. Since debuting in 2010 Jansen has racked up a lot of those saves for Los Angeles though and he sports a 2.20 ERA, 189 saves and a 13.9 K/9 ratio. That’s devastating no matter what coast you’re on. 

So there you have it. The Yankees now have a Plan A, Plan B and a Plan C if they want to drastically improve their bullpen while ponying up some dough. Stay tuned to see if either happens this winter. 


  1. Andrew Miller is a guy we could also look at as our closer, he did fine for us before. Also be much cheaper than Chapman!
    I believe we will need three guys that can close, as we have pitchers that give us 5 innings a we need a fireman, 8th inning and a closer with all three being able to close at any time.

    1. He's not a free agent and I can't see the Cubs trading him for less than they gave up to get him... If at all.

    2. Thank you Bryan, I got them mixed up.
      Chapman is the one then, but Hal would have to part with a lot of $$$$$$$'s. He is only 28 years old, I think!


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