Yankees lose bullpen arm to Toronto Blue Jays in free agency

New York Yankees, Chad Green
Oct 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green (57) reacts after pitching against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game three of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had a bit of turnover in the bullpen department this off-season. Letting Zack Britton, Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Castro, and now Chad Green walk certainly opens up a few holes that need to be filled.

The team’s youth movement is expected to supplement the loss of several veteran relief pitchers, notably Ron Marinaccio and Greg Weissert. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Randy Vasquez or Jhony Brito this upcoming season.

The latest player to sign elsewhere is Chad Green, who inked an $8.5 million, two-year deal on Tuesday. According to ESPN, Green also locked in options for the 2025 and 2026 seasons worth $29.25 million.

Green will be fresh off Tommy John surgery after ending his 2022 season prematurely. He pitched 15 innings before going down, recording a 3.00 ERA in the process. His numbers in 2021 are far more impressive, enjoying a 3.12 ERA across 83.2 innings, including 10.65 strikeouts per nine and a 77.2% left-on-base rate. Green isn’t going to generate a ton of ground balls, but he still maintains decent velocity, hovering around 95 mph.

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The Yankees went in a different direction, letting Green walk:

The Yankees could’ve easily brought back Green coming off injury but decided to go in a different direction with Tommy Kahnle.

Kahnle, 33, pitched 12.2 innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, only accumulating 13.2 innings of action over the last three seasons combined. Over such a small sample size, he did enjoy a 2.84 ERA last season, with his last campaign amounting to a minimum of 60 innings pitched coming back in 2019. He hosted a 3.67 ERA, evidently playing with the Yankees.

However, Kahnle is known for giving up home runs a bit too consistently, posting a 23.1% HR/FB ratio and 1.32 home runs per nine during his last impactful season.

Kahnle has a bit more velocity to his game than Green, which may have been the deciding factor between the two. In addition, Kahnle signed a deal worth $5.8 million per season on average, whereas Green is earning $4.25 million, not considering the options beyond the guaranteed two-year contract.

Nonetheless, taking his talents to Toronto certainly isn’t ideal for the Bombers, given they are an AL East rival. However, Green’s best days seem to be well behind him, so the Yankees may end up taking advantage of him in the future.