The modern-day MLB has a lot of interesting approaches to pitching, especially when it comes to the bull-pen and how to operate a close game in its later stages. The New York Yankees have taken a more old-school approach, sticking with their primary closer and rotational guys to help them earn a save.
Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman remains the flame-thrower he has always been and continues to be. Moving forward into 2019, we can only expect he will remain the closer as he finished 2018 with a three wins and 32 overall saves. He had a 2.45 ERA, well above average when comparing last year’s numbers to his career statistics. To be quite frank, last season wasn’t his best by any means, yet he was still effective.
What options are there for relievers in free agency?
The Yankees have a few options they can consider when it comes to relief pitching this offseason. Both Zach Britton and David Robertson remain unsigned and free agents. Either could be worth retaining for at least one more season as the Bombers try to piece together their starting pitching rotation. The Red Sox on the other hands could be losing star reliever Craig Kimbrel and the efficient Joe Kelly.
I can’t imagine the Yankees making a run at Kelly after what happened between him and Tyler Austin.
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— Red Sox on CLNS (@RedSoxCLNS) April 12, 2018
While Austin has since left New York, Kelly doesn’t seem to fit the bill regardless. Kimbrel on the other hand could be an intriguing option if the Yankees want to use multiple relievers to finish out games on a regular basis. They still have Dellin Batances who performed very well in 2018.
Next season both Batances and Chapman can decide to leave the chilly sitting of NY as the former will be entering a free agent walk year and the latter has an opt-out clause in his contract for ’19.
When looking at Kimbrel’s stats, they look a bit better than Chapman’s, despite having a slightly higher ERA of 2.74. In 63 games he had 42 saves, 5 wins and 1 loss. I still prefer Chapman as he’s dominant when healthy, but he decides to walk Kimbrel could be a solid option. Ultimately, having both might be a “power move.”
A less expensive relief option for the New York Yankees:
If GM Brian Cashman doesn’t want to splash the cash, Andrew Miller could be a decent option as well. Although Miller has endured multiple injuries (hamstring, knee, shoulder) in the past year, he’s capable of contributing.