Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Looking Ahead To 2014: The Yankees Bullpen

The Yankees 2014 Free Agents In The Bullpen

LHP Boone Logan
RHP Joba Chamberlain
RHP Mariano Rivera

The Yankees bullpen should be set for next season and will probably be built from within but I still see a couple of veteran options that the Yankees should at least take a look at. Here is the complete list of 2014 free agents but I will hit the high spots and realistic options for the Yankees in this years free agency period.

JP Howell (31 years old)
Boone Logan (29 years old)
Eric O'Flaherty (29 years old)
Jesse Crain (32 years old)
Joba Chamberlain (28 years old)
David Aardsma (32 years old)
Grant Balfour (36 years old)
Ryan Madson (33 years old)
Fernando Rodney (37 years old)

Boone Logan has been an integral part of the Yankees bullpen since 2010 after being acquired along with Javier Vazquez from the Atlanta Braves. Boone has seen his relief appearances, innings, and unfortunately his ERA go up in every season with the Yankees and battled an arm injury in spring training this season sending question marks all over Yankees land. Boone is also injured right now and shut down with an MRI heading over to Dr. James Andrews but that is for another post and another discussion. Boone bounced back and healthy for the most part this season but I wonder if it will be enough to bring back Boone and his $3,150,000 salary, assuming he is healthy of course. An obvious choice for his replacement internally is Cesar Cabral who deserves his shot at being the LOOGY he should have been in the 2012 season before a stress fracture in his pitching elbow ended his season.

Jesse Crain is coming off of a strong season for the Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays which probably prices him out of our range as nice to have as he would be. Fernando Rodney and his arrow shooting may not go over well in New York especially the first time he blows a lead or a save plus the Yankees need to get younger anyway and they don't do that with a 37 year old former closer. Joba Chamberlain, even only as a 28 year old, has worn out his welcome in New York not only on the field but off the field after "sshh'ing" the greatest closer of all time among other idiotic maneuvers. Grant Balfour is not going to want to come to New York either to set up when he could easily get a closer's job after his successful career in Oakland with the Athletics.

That leaves David Aardsma and Eric O'Flaherty and I want both of them in my bullpen. Aardsma is healthy finally and has come all the way back from Tommy John surgery after bouncing around from team to team in 2012. Aardsma has closing experience and got his feet wet in New York and the media with the Yankees and the Mets last season so the transition should not be a huge deal either. Aardsma would essentially replace Joba Chamberlain in a 7th inning role or so for me and I would offer him a one year deal worth $1,500,000. Eric O'Flaherty has been magnificent for the Atlanta Braves from the left side of the pitching rubber since coming up to the majors and would be a welcomed addition to the Yankees bullpen replacing Boone Logan. O'Flaherty would get a three year deal on my team worth $18,000,000. With these additions our bullpen would look like some kind of combination of this roster.

CL: David Robertson
SU: Shawn Kelley
SU: Preston Claiborne
RP: Eric O'Flaherty
RP: David Aardsma
RP: Dellin Betances
LR: Adam Warren

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