Yankees News/Rumors: Adam Ottavino could be traded, 2 bullpen targets

New York Yankees, Adam Ottavino
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) takes the ball from relief pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) during the eighth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees are not finished this off-season yet, as they still have a few positions they need to upgrade. While they did retain DJ LeMahieu and signed former Cy Young award-winning pitcher Corey Kluber, resources still need to be allocated. Acquiring another consistent starting pitcher would be a good move, and they also should look for an adequate relief arm.

The primary issue, the Yankees don’t have an absurd amount of money to spend at the moment, as they have about $10 million left until they cross the $210 million luxury tax threshold. Ownership has strictly delegated to Brian Cashman that he cannot cross that threshold, so he will have to find ways to open up available funds.

One way they could open up some available money is to trade Adam Ottavino, who struggled in 2020 with a 5.89 ERA over 18.1 innings. However, in 2019, he posted a 1.90 ERA over 66.1 innings, so his one down season could be an anomaly. Nonetheless, considering a trade should be on the table, as it would open up about $9 million to reallocate.

Buster Olney of ESPN stated that the Yankees could look to trade Adam Ottavino:

One way they might create some space is exploring a trade of reliever Adam Ottavino, who struggled in the shortened 60-game season. Ottavino, 35, had a 5.89 ERA in 24 appearances in ’20 and is set to make $9 million; presumably, with so many right-handed free agents available, the Yankees would have to eat a chunk of Ottavino’s salary to make a deal.

Two bullpen targets:

The Yankees could use another bullpen arm, and I wanted to add some diversity to their options, so I chose one lefty to feature. If they do decide to trade Ottavino and save a bit of cash, there are a few quality arms on the market that could supplement his loss.

1.) Brad Hand

One of the more popular players available is Brad Hand, who pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 2020, recording a 2.05 ERA and 11.86 strikeouts per nine.

He has been one of the more consistent relief pitchers in the MLB over the past five years, and at 30 years old, he would fit well with the Yankees, especially since he’s a lefty. He primarily utilizes a fastball, slider and rarely dabbles with curve curveballs.

There are a bevy of alternative teams considering him, and his market value hovers in the $8.5 million range. By trading Otto, they could acquire Hand for a bit cheaper and add a bit more diversity to their bullpen.

2.) Kirby Yates

Another option is Kirby Yates, who had a down season with the San Diego Padres in 2020. Over 4.1 innings, he posted a 12.46 ERA, but his small sample size isn’t even worth considering.

In 2019, he earned a 1.19 ERA over 60.2 innings, logging an insane 14.9 strikeouts per nine. He is a fantastic option and has an expected market value of about $9 million. Adding him would significantly improve the bullpen for the Yankees.

He relies on two primary pitches, his fastball, and split-fingered fastball. He clocks in at about 94 mph with his top pitch, and we know how the Yankees like fastball throwers.