The New York Yankees this offseason made it a priority to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, and they were finally able to do that, signing him to a six-year deal for $90 million. They also signed Cory Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner. Besides those two deals, the Yankees haven’t done much except to bring back relievers Adam Warren and Nestor Cortes Jr. Many fans believe the Yankees have to sign a quality arm to replace Tommy Kahnle that went with the Los Angeles Dodgers. FanGraphs says the Yankees already have the best bullpen in baseball.
The total bullpen WAR is 3.7, .3 ahead of the second-place Chicago White Sox that have been building up their bullpen for the last couple of years. Despite the Yankee fans thinking that Aroldis Chapman fails far too often when it counts, he is third in baseball with 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings. Of course, stats mean nothing at the moment; everything depends on that next pitch.
But looking at the New York Yankee bullpen, there are some surprising stats. As I said, the closer Chapman has the best strikeouts per innings of any Yankees. Multi-talented Chad Green allows the fewest walks per nine innings. Chapman also has the lowest ERA (3.11), and the fewest home runs allowed. In pitchers that have pitched over 50 inning Jonathan Loaisiga has the lowest walk rate of any Yankee relief pitcher.
Regardless of the stats the New York Yankees would still like to see improvement especially considering this will be a 162 games season after the bullpen has only played in 60 games over the last almost two years. Thre is no question the the likes of Clarke Schmidt, Micheal King and Albert Abreu will play some part in added arms to the bullpen at some point in the season. But the bottom like is that the Yankees would still like to addÂ a pitcher with similar tools as the departed Tommy Kahnle. They will also hope that Adam Ottavino can refind his form.
Another option to get pitching help is to move the $9 million contract of Adam Ottavino off the books and use that money to acquire another pitcher. That would involve a trade and they Yankees might have to share in some of his salary to make a trade possible, because after two subpar seasons any club willing to take him would have to believe he could return to being one of the best relievers in baseball.
Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida on February 15, and the position players on February 21st. So the Yankees have plenty of time to engage with the bevy of free agent pitchers and to decide what trades make sense for the Yankees.
It’ also worth noting the position on the list of best bullpens for the other teams withing the Yankee division.Â The Toronto Blue Jays are number 19, the Boston Red Sox are #16, the Baltimore Orioles are #18, and the Tampa Bay Rays are number 5 on the list. Also of note the Houston Astros are number 20.