Yankees could leave 2 veteran bullpen arms off the playoff roster

Alexander Wilson
aroldis chapman, yankees

At a certain point, the New York Yankees need to start thinking about the playoffs instead of handing out roster spots to inefficient players who have failed to produce this season or are coming off significant injuries.

The Yankees recently placed Wandy Peralta on the injured list, giving him some much-needed rest before the postseason, where he expects to play a legitimate role.

However, management may have more faith in a few of their younger bullpen arms compared to several struggling veterans.

Two relief pitchers the Yankees could leave off the playoff roster:

Aroldis Chapman:

There have been rumors regarding the Yankees contemplating releasing Chapman before the playoffs. The 34-year-old veteran has had a rocky 2022 campaign, hosting a 4.36 ERA, 4.93 xFIP, and 10.36 strikeouts per 9 over 33 innings. He also features a 75.5% left on-base rate and a 33.3% ground ball rate.

Chapman has dealt with Achilles tendinitis and an infection on his leg stemming from a tattoo he received several weeks ago. The lack of consistency has dropped him from Boone’s favorable list, meaning he likely won’t factor in during the postseason unless the Yankees suddenly go through a string of injuries.

With that being said, there could be other bullpen arms the team would prefer to rely on, but a playoff-contending club could scoop up Chapman and try to steal some secrets if not utilize him down the stretch.

Overall this is in the final year of a three-year, $48 million deal he signed with the Yankees back in 2020. He’s earned $18 million this season, but the two sides will likely move on in the coming weeks.

The Yankees are at least contemplating whether to designate him for assignment. Essentially, the question is whether they believe they can straighten out his delivery and confidence in the waning days of the season and — even if there positives — whether they would trust him enough with his vacillating performances and control to put him on the postseason roster. Because, if not, he too is a free agent after the season and there are no plans for a reunion.

Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post

Zack Britton:

The Yankees waited patiently for the return of Zack Britton, another 34-year-old lefty bullpen arm. Britton pitched 18.1 innings last season, finally making his first appearance this year against the Boston Red Sox this past Saturday. He allowed one hit, and one earned run, walking three batters across 0.1 innings.

At this rate, there’s just simply not enough time to ramp up Britton before the playoffs, so relying on healthier options could be the way to go.

Zack was once regarded as one of the best closers in baseball, but those days are long behind him, and he’s just missed an entire season. The Yankees can’t afford to have any liabilities on the mound in the postseason, meaning they could utilize and down the stretch to mitigate fatigue for others and leave him off the playoff roster, making him a free agent after this season.