New York Yankees: Domingo German has apologized but is it enough?

New York Yankees, Domingo German

The New York Yankees have a sticky situation in letting Domingo German return to the team. He served an 81 game suspension in 2019 for breaking the domestic violence protocol. He slapped his wife/mother of his child in public and later, in a drunken fit, became violent and had to be calmed down.

“According to multiple league sources, including a person with knowledge of the MLB investigation, Germán was intoxicated and became physically violent toward his girlfriend until she hid in a locked room. The victim is said to have contacted another Yankees player’s wife, and the couple drove to Germán’s home late at night. The victim remained with the teammate’s wife while the player attempted to calm down Germán, who is said to have been angry and belligerent.

“The incident was reported to MLB by a different member of the Yankees staff, whom Germán’s girlfriend had told about it. The victim did not call law enforcement, so there is no police report from the night of the assault.”

In this writer’s eyes, there is no place or excuse for domestic violence in any form, and due to any incidence, it is unacceptable, period. But that being said, anyone who shows contrition should be allowed a second chance; if they screw up, then that’s the end of them. I fully understand Zack Britton’s statement that there is no place for this on or off the field.

I also understand that this is a very sensitive subject. I am aware that some think domestic violence is not that big a deal and forgivable. Well, folks, it is a big deal, but if someone shows true contrition and changes his life for the better, that person deserves a second chance to show that they are indeed changed and that the occurrence will never happen again. They have a lot to prove to their teammates and the public alike.

The New York Yankees have appeared to take the pitcher back into the fold and show that he can be the pitcher he was, and at the same time, he is a changed man. That being the case, the teammates should stand behind him as it is the best for the team. If they treat him as an outcast and does not deserve that second chance, it will work for no one. German will not be the pitcher that he can be, and the team will lose out in the long run.

Luke Voit is on the right track in showing support for Geman.

“According to multiple league sources, including a person with knowledge of the MLB investigation, Germán was intoxicated and became physically violent toward his girlfriend until she hid in a locked room. The victim is said to have contacted the wife of another Yankees player, and the couple drove to Germán’s home late at night. The victim remained with the teammate’s wife, while the player attempted to calm down Germán, who is said to have been angry and belligerent.

“The incident was reported to MLB by a different member of the Yankees staff, whom Germán’s girlfriend had told about it. The victim did not call law enforcement, so there is

Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán issued a public apology on Wednesday for his actions on the evening of Sept. 16, 2019, which precipitated an 81-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball’s policy against domestic violence.

Germán said that he is thankful for an opportunity to resume his Major League career. The hurler previously addressed his teammates in two separate sessions this week. He also has spoken privately with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone, whom he thanked for their patience.

“I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the Steinbrenner family, my teammates, the front office and those around me who love me,” Germán said through an interpreter. “I have made mistakes of which I’m not proud, and for that I want to apologize.“When the team needed me most in 2019 before we started the playoffs, I wasn’t there for them, and for that I ask your forgiveness. It was very difficult for me not to be pitching and helping my team. Having to watch from afar hurt me a lot, but I also understand that I am responsible for putting myself in that position.”

At least one New York Yankee player, Luke Voit, has shown his support for German.

“We have his back, but he’s skating on thin ice and he needs to get his life together.” For good measure, Voit added: “He messed up. A lot of guys look at him differently now, but I believe in second chances, and the guy deserves a second chance.”

Giancarlo Stanton, more diplomatic while still making his point, added: “In the clubhouse, we all have difficult things going on, some a lot worse than others. But it’s our job to support in the right way when given the opportunity.”

Geman also praised Britton for offering “really good advice on how I can improve” and voiced understanding for Britton’s sharp rhetoric.

“He has done enough to earn the opportunity to be here and compete and to be a part of this team,” manager Aaron Boone said of German. “Now the proof is in the daily life that he leads.”

New York Yankees: Domingo German reportedly addresses team following 2019 domestic incident

New York Yankees, Domingo German

New York Yankees‘ manager Aaron Boone stated in his press conference today that Domingo German addressed the team for the first following his suspension for domestic allegations in 2019. German was suspended for 81 games after he was caught allegedly slapping his girlfriend. Boone said that German wanted to address the team about the situation before he spoke with the media.

“I feel like he has his teammates’ support,” Boone said today. “We’ll see how that manifests itself over the coming days and weeks.”

This seems to be a step in the right direction towards gaining back support from his teammates. However, last Thursday, RHP Zack Britton had some interesting comments about German’s return to the team.

“Sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are,” Britton said. “I don’t agree with what he did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field at all.”

If the Yankees decide to keep German around, he’s expected to have a big role on the team. He’ll likely be a part of the Yankees’ rotation after his dominance leading up to his suspension in September 2019.

German pitched to an 18-4 record in 2019, finishing with the highest winning percentage in baseball. He had a 4.03 ERA, a 4.72 FIP, 1.147 WHIP, and 153 strikeouts in 143 innings. With the Yankees suffering from many injuries, German stepped up and became the team’s unsung ace.

Although he’s currently in camp, German could get traded or even released if issues with the team cannot be resolved. Right now, German’s current focus is to try and give the Yankees the most that he can on the mound and gain back the clubhouse. The rest will go from there.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: News and notes from the Yankee’s spring training

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Domingo German has a supporter

Several players are not that happy that the New York Yankees have taken Domingo German back with the team after his suspension for domestic violence. Most notably, relief pitcher Zack Britton said, “you can’t choose who your teammates are; I don’t agree with what [German] did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field or at all.” Further details of German’s infraction have been revealed, and several team members are not happy about it. However, there is at least one Yankee that has come out in support of German. Luis Severino.

Severino continues to progress. He threw from 90 feet on flat ground today and will throw from 120 feet tomorrow. He also said he is confident in the Yankee rotation and that he’s 100 percent confident he’ll be his old self when he returns. In support of German, he said yesterday:

“Every time I talk to Domingo, it’s about baseball,” Severino said Monday. “[It’s] about getting better. Every time we have a conversation, it’s about us or him getting better. That’s the only thing I have in mind. Helping the team get to the World Series.”

Clarke Schmidt first injury of spring training

It hasn’t taken too long for the injury bug to hit the Yankees. Clarke Schmidt had an elbow injury and is expected to be out for three or four weeks. He has what manager Aaron Boone described as a common extensor strain in his right elbow, which means he will be out for the remainder of spring training at the earliest. He will then have to ramp back up, which means the Yankees will likely not be able to use him in live games until some time in late April or early May. The good news is that an MRI shows that his UCL is fine and there is no permanent damage.

Final Yankees report and take physicals

Several New York Yankees reported for duty today in Tampa. In addition several players were already at Steinbrenner Field, among them Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres, to name a few. Those taking their physicals today and taking their first workouts were Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Andujar, among others. Brett Gardner is taking his physical and ironing out the final details of his contract. He will be joining the team shortly.

Adam Warren hoping for a comeback

During the offseason, the New York Yankees reunited with an old friend, Adam Warren. Although he was signed to a minor league contract, the Yankees hope he can shore up the early relief coming out of the bullpen and ease the strain on Luis Cessa. Warren is hoping for a comeback year with the Yankees. This is his third stint with the Yankees.

Pitchers throw live batting practice

Several pitchers took to the mound at Steinbrenner Field. Gerrit Cole took bullpen today. Cole lacked his normal command, but manager Aaron Boone said that that is natural for his first bullpen. Other pitchers the took to the mound were Kyle Barraclough, Nestor Cortes Jr., who came back to the Yankees in the offseason; Brooks Kriske, Lucas Luetge, Tyler Lyons, another add on, Jordan Montgomery, and Nick Nelson.

First exhibition game on Sunday

With everyone at camp and working out, the New York Yankees will have their first exhibition game on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field. The Yankees will face the Toronto Blue Jays in a 1:05 pm game. The Yankees have been preparing for this throughout the offseason. There are major changes in the team from last season. Gone is Masahiro Tanaka, who is now pitching in Japan, James Paxton, with his old team, the Seattle Mariners, and J.A. Happ is working out with the Minnesota Twins.

This year the Yankees have Corey Kluber, a two-time Cy Young Award winner and traded from the Pirates; he will be followed in the rotation by Jameson Taillon. The Yankees made a major add-on for the bullpen by adding one of the best relievers in 2020 in Darren O’ Day. The Yankees lineup will look pretty much the same, but with one difference, both Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are both healthy going into spring training.

Yankees’ Zack Britton takes lowkey shot at Domingo German

New York Yankees, Zack BRitton

The New York Yankees are proceeding with starting pitcher Domingo German on their roster, and some players might not feel he deserves a second chance based on his previous actions.

As we know, German served a lengthy suspension for a domestic abuse case that was witnessed by an MLB employee. Justifiably, he missed the entire 2020 season and almost half of the 2019 season. After taking more than a year off, the Yankees feel German is ready to return to the team, despite making cryptic messages over the past several months indicating he’s retiring from baseball and then re-emergence.

Players already on the team will have to deal with the decision from management, and maybe they should have considered his teammate’s opinions before welcoming him back.

Relief pitcher Zack Britton surely had words on German’s return and how he feels about the situation:

“That’s tough question,” Britton said in a Zoom interview. “I don’t think he owes anything to me. I think it’s off the field stuff that he needs to take care of. Sometimes you don’t get to control who your teammates are, and that’s the situation. I don’t agree with what he did. I don’t think it has any place in the game or off the field at all.”

“My job is to go out there and pitch and do my job,” Britton said. “So that’s kind of what my concern is right there. But (German) doesn’t owe me anything. I think that’s something that he’s going to have to deal with on his own and make better choices going forward.”

The Yankees feel as though German has done enough, so it seems:

Based on the fact that the Yankees have welcome German back, it is safe to assume he’s done the work off the field to prove he has learned his lesson. Nonetheless, a strange Instagram post stating in Spanish, “everything is over,” brought the attention of skipper Aaron Boone into the fold.

“He and I had a conversation (Thursday) about that,” Boone said. “I don’t feel like I’m in a position to tell somebody how they’re express themselves or whatever (but) certainly we’re paying attention to that stuff.

“First and foremost, we want to make sure that Domingo’s in a good place. When I first heard about (the Instagram messages on Wednesday) night and saw it — it was brought to my attention — I was taken aback a little bit and immediately concerned. But I do feel like maybe it was a little bit out of context and a little bit overblown and I am comfortable that he’s doing fine and doing well and ready to compete.”

Whether or not the players agree with the return of German, he will likely find himself competing for a starting spot in the rotation. There’s a good chance he makes his way into the fifth spot, but his polarizing emotions during his time have brought forth some concerns. This is a situation we will need to monitor as spring training progresses.

New York Yankees News: Aaron Judge is excited and ready, Zack Britton and more

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankee slugger and star Aaron Judge is ready for baseball. With the start of spring training camps just a month away, MLB has announced no plans to delay the season. On Thursday, Judge said that he feels there will be a 162 game season that will hopefully have fans in the stands at some point. He said he sees no reason that the season will be delayed, as other major sports have continued throughout the pandemic, and MLB was able to complete a 60  game season with any major incidents.

At present, spring training is slated to begin in mid-February, with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 15 and is followed by players reporting on February 21. Opening Day is coming on April 1. The first exhibition game will be at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 27, when the New York Yankees will face the Detroit Tigers. That will be followed by an away game with the Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater, Florida.

On Thursday, Judge said, “I’m excited to see some familiar faces again in Tampa and go back to work.” At present, Judge is healthy and ready to start spring training.

Yankees will have to make changes in the 40 man roster.

The New York Yankees will have to make some 40 man roster changes to add several new players. Last week they re-signed DJ LeMahieu and hired two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber. The Yankees, when they formally announce those players, space will have to be made for them on the roster.

When the players start exhibition games in Florida, they will seem far more normal than in the 2020 regular season. Currently, fans will be allowed in Florida ballparks as Florida Covid-19 regulations presently allow fans in outdoor venues. However, there are still complications. It is unclear but likely that when players report may be tiered. For instance, it seems as of now that minor league players may not report until the Major League players have left camp. Also, many of the training facilities are already open for workouts for a limited number of players.

The bottom line for the season expected to start on time is that many questions are still left unanswered. Some of last year’s format will remain this year. Health protocols, doubleheaders with seven-inning games, and the man on second after nine innings all seem likely. All of these issues will be resolved in the coming days as spring training approaches.

Zack Britton talks about the upcoming season

Zack Britton, who took part in a webinar produced by Judge’s All Rise charity Thursday, said, “I hope we do start on time. … I hope we do get some fans in the stands, too.”

Aaron Judge had this to say about the webinar:

“I am so excited to launch the ALL RISE for Leadership series,” states Aaron Judge, founder. “Leadership is something I enjoy talking about and delving into. With the ALL RISE mission of helping our children and youth develop into responsible citizens, I believe this series is a great opportunity for us to create a dialogue about leadership in many different facets that can benefit anyone of any age.”

In 20 regular season appearances this past season, Britton posted a 1.89 ERA. The lefty was 8-for-8 in save opportunities, filling in as closer while Aroldis Chapman recovered from a positive coronavirus test.

Britton faced 76 batters during the 2020 regular season without yielding a home run.

Britton has indicated that his sinker has vastly improved three years out from his ruptured right Achilles tendon, the New York Yankees’ setup man is still adjusting his mechanics back to his pre-surgery days. His better sinker will certainly aid him as he takes on an even more important rule in the bullpen with the loss of Tommy Kahnle to the Dodgers. This season you may also see a mix and match situation between Britton and Aroldis Chapman in closing games.

Yankees continue to strengthen the bullpen but in small ways

In other news yesterday, the New York Yankees have signed another former Baltimore pitcher, Asher Wojciechowski, a rightly pitched in 10 games last year, striking out 31 players but allowing 28 runs for an elevated 6.81 ERA. With his minor league contract, he will be invited to spring training, but it is doubtful that he will make the team.

The Yankees have made several other additions to the bullpen, but no major arms have been added to replace Tommy Kahnle. The Yankees have taken back three former relievers, Adam Warren, Nestor Cortes Jr., and Tyler Lyons.

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Analysis: Yankee 2021 bullpen starting to firm up

New York Yankees, Zack Britton

The New York Yankees were pretty much a non-participant in the baseball Winter Meetings. Their main priorities, although they may have been addressed, there were no results. They didn’t re-sign DJ LeMahieu and didn’t add a much-needed starting pitcher. The only real good news coming out of the meetings is that no team made an offer good enough to steal DJ LeMahieu away from the Yankees as of yet. Still, that remains to be seen.

The only area that may be firming up and giving us a look at the 2021 season is in the Yankee bullpen. Here is what we do know. Tommy Kahnle will miss most if not all of the 2021 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. The top five listed below will carry most of the 2021 load coming out of the bullpen. But if there is anything close to a 162 game season, those stalwarts will need a lot of help. After such a short season this year, the Yankees will have to be careful with all of them, being cautious with how many innings each pitch to prevent injuries. If the Yankees don’t add a number two or three starter that can go deep into games, that will put even more stress on the bullpen.

Although the bullpen may be shaping up, the New York Yankees still need a bullpen arm that can be Tommy Kahnle-like. Especially with an Adam Ottavino, the Yankees find it questionable if he can return to the reliever he was in 2018.

Aroldis Chapman:

Aroldis Chapman is Aroldis Chapman, you know what you’re going to get, and that is not a Mariano Rivera-like closer. He generally gets the job done but scares the hell out of you doing it.  Last season he lost a bit of velocity but is still overpowering. Another question with Chapman is how he has given away the winning run in the postseason for the last two seasons in a row.

Zack Britton:

You may see Zack Britton take a more leading role in closing games this season. He will definitely be the setup man for Chapman. Britton was really impressed last season when in place of Chapman, who had tested positive for the coronavirus, Britton eight straight saves and ended the 60 game season with an ERA of 1.89 in 20 games. There is no question, Britton outpitched Chapman during the last season. Chapman pitched in 13 games with an ERA of 3.09.

Chad Green:

Chad Green will again be an integral part of the bullpen. The season may see him open games, be a middle reliever, and even a setup man. Green is manager Aaron Boone’s most versatile reliever. Green had a very similar year to his performance in 2019; although he improved his ERA to 3.51, he also saved a game for the Yankees this past season. Chad Green will surely play a big part in the 2021 season.

Luis Cessa:

The Yankees tendered Luis Cessa an offer for a contract this year and good reason. Although Cessa’s 2020 campaign was not as good as his best year in, 2019 he is still a workhorse that can be generally counted on in mid relief. You may find his role being shared with the just re-signed Nestor Cortes Jr. They are very similar pitchers.

Adam Ottavino:

Unfortunately, Adam Ottavino is a huge question about whether he will be effective during 2021, especially considering it may very well be a longer season than in 2020. Ottavino lost steam as the 2019 season progressed. In this shortened season, he lost steam even quicker to the point that he was nearly useless. Ottavino pitched 18.1 innings giving up more than a hit per inning with an elevated 5.89 ERA. He followed that up, turning into a disaster in the postseason. He pitched 2/3 of an inning using 16 pitches, walking one, not getting an out, and given up a run for an ERA of 13.50.

Ottavino, like Kahnle, is most often used as a late-inning setup to the setup man. With Kahnle out of the season and Ottavino in question, the Yankees really need that one more quality arm to firm up the season’s bullpen.

The Yankees have several arms they will have to depend upon. One of the biggest pitching questions is what role Jonathan Loisiga will play. He pitched in twelve games, including three games as a starter. Loaisiga, although not consistent, has shown brilliance at times. He had a 3-0 record last season with an ERA of 3.52. What happens with the starting rotation may play a role in where Loaisiga pitches in 2021.

Because of an expected season going for 100 to 162 games and the stress this will put on the bullpen, the Yankees will have to watch how many innings each reliever pitches so that they won’t be worn out for the hopeful postseason.  Brook Kriske, Nick Nelson, Ben Heller, Miguel Yaujer, and newly acquired Nestor Cortes Jr. will be called up to help out.

Again according to what happens with the starting pitching, Clarke Schmidt, Micheal King, Albert Abreu may be used as starters or could aid the relievers. It is most likely that Jordan Montgomery and Deivi Garcia will find their place among the starters no matter what happens.

New York Yankees: Zack Britton is determined to bring a championship back to the Bronx

New York Yankees, Zack Britton

For the New York Yankees, securing the services of Zack Britton for the next two seasons was a slam dunk. A sure thing, a needed development. After all, how many relievers can pitch seven seasons with the highest ERA being 3.10? Not too many, right? The left-hander has been the model of consistency not only since he came to the Bronx, but ever since he made the transition to the bullpen back in 2014, when he was with the Baltimore Orioles.

In 2020, he was one of only three relief pitchers that New York Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone could trust at all times, alongside Chad Green and Aroldis Chapman. He pitched 19.0 innings of a 1.89 ERA and a 2.61 FIP, with a 3.38 SIERA. When Chapman was out with a bout of COVID-19, Britton filled in admirably as the team’s closer.

Britton didn’t take his return for granted, according to what he said to SNY and YES Network’s Meredith Marakovits. He knew that there were a couple of financial/contractual situations in play that could result in the Yankees moving on.

He’s excited to stay with the Yankees

“There definitely was (a doubt), due to, obviously, financial situations that teams are in, for what they’re saying and, yeah, I didn’t know. Me and my agent, Scott Boras, we really didn’t discuss in great length what was going to happen if they didn’t and what we were going to do in regards to free agency and things like that. So it was nice, obviously, to get that call from (Brian Cashman) talking about it. Obviously, I’m excited to stay in New York for the next two years and hopefully win a championship is the reason why I came here in the first place. So to have two more years to kind of realize that goal would be nice.”

For the Yankees, winning that championship has been a difficult task since 2009, the last World Series’ parade. But Britton is determined to bring the glory back to the Bronx.

The Yankees needed to exercise Britton’s 2022 $14 million option, or he could have entered the free agent market. They did it and, in the process, they secured services for the next two years.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: New York Yankees keep Zack Britton in pinstripes, why that’s important

The New York Yankees have many decisions to be made regarding free agents, options, and filling defeciences in a team that has not made the World Series since 2009. One decision made will keep Yankee reliever/closer, Zack Britton, in pinstripes through the 2022 season.

Britton has been one of the most reliable Yankees relievers since he left the Baltimore Orioles. This past season he was just as reliable and also closed eight consecutive games for the Yankees while closer Aroldis Chapman was out with the coronavirus. His contract has an option for the Yankees for the 2021 season.

The orginal deal guaranteed three years, including a club option for a fourth season that can be exercised after Year 2 and, if not exercised, Britton could opt out after that second year. Britton chooses to stay with the Yankees, and the Yankees exercised his option through 2022. Britton will make $13 million this upcoming season and $14 million in the final year of the contract before becoming a free agent again.

Zack Brittons road to success

After ten years in the Baltimore Orioles organization, in 2017 he became just the fifth pitcher in MLB history to convert at least 50 consecutive save opportunities. Unfortunately, 2018 didn’t start well for Zack, he signed his biggest deal with the Orioles, but he was placed on the 60-day disabled list to begin the season, as he recuperated from the ruptured Achilles tendon injury.  He recorded his first save of the season on June 23rd.

Zack Britton becomes a New York Yankee

On July 24, 2018, the Orioles traded Britton to the New York Yankees in exchange for Dillion Tate, Cody Carroll, and Josh Rogers. Britton went on to post a 2.88 ERA in 25 appearances for the Yankees in the 2018 season. His 1.86 ERA from 2016 to 2018 was the lowest in major league baseball of all pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched. Britton thrived in his new role as a late-game reliever. Britton signed a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year with the Yankees on January 11, 2019

Britton would appear in 66 games for 61 innings, often the lefty was used to get just one important out.  He finished the season recording three saves and had an excellent ERA of 1.91 and a 3-1 record. In the 2018 and 2019 postseasons for the New York Yankees, he pitched in 12 innings while allowing just four runs. He also fields his position well with a .965 fielding percentage.

In the shortened 2020 season, at least at the start of the season, Zack Britton will return to his old role and will become the Yankees closer. Just two days ago Yankee Closer Aroldis Chapman tested positive for the coronavirus.  Before he can return to the team, he will have to self-quarantine for two weeks and then test negative twice, 2 days apart.  Many people after recovering from the virus remain weak for weeks, which is most likely why manager Aaron Boone used the phrase: “He will be out for the foreseeable future.”

During the summer of 2019, Zack Britton bought himself an Edgertronic camera. Here is why this should excite you.

“The Yankees have high-speed cameras at the Stadium. I’ve noticed differences with both my breaking ball and my sinker. I can see where my hand position is when I throw a good pitch. Rather than just feeling my way through an adjustment, I can get instant feedback on the adjustments I need to make.”

The New York Yankees organization and Yankee fans expected and got even more improvements in Britton’s pitching in this shortened season.  Upon the news of Chapman’s positive virus test manager Aaron Boone had to choose between Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton; both have similar numbers. Still, Boone chose Britton as he has the closing experience. Boone had this to say:

“Britton has been an elite closer in this game for a long time, and he’s still a great pitcher, so he naturally could fill that role,” the Yankees skipper observed. “It’s easy to put him in that, but with our team and with our bullpen and our pitchers, we feel confident in a lot of guys. Britt would be a natural guy if Chappy wasn’t back at that point.”

Britton finished this season with a 1-2 record with a crazy low 1.89 ERA in 20 games in the regular season. He had a total of eight saves. In the postseason, he pitched in four games against the Tampa Bay Rays, not allowing a run and only allowing one hit for an ERA of 0.00. The New York Yankees will now have Britton in pinstripes for the next two seasons.

The New York Yankees couldn’t afford to lose Zack Britton

New York Yankees, Zack Britton

Per the terms of the deal, the New York Yankees needed to pick up Zack Britton’s 2022 option in order to prevent him from opting out of the two remaining seasons in the contract, 2021 and 2022. The left-hander groundball specialist is not precisely cheap (he will earn $13 million next season and $14 million the year after) but the team just couldn’t afford to lose him. And that’s why they essentially decided to “opt in” the remaining two years on his pact.

While the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers have managed to build two super-bullpens, the Yankees’ unit is not what it once was. In 2018 and 2019, there were at least six or seven trustworthy arms that manager Aaron Boone could rely on. Now, in the 2020 season and after Tommy Kahnle got injured, it was evident that only three relief pitchers were in the circle of trust.

Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green and Britton were the only arms in which Boone trusted come crunch time. Jonathan Holder, Jonathan Loaisiga and Luis Cessa are talented, but inconsistent, while Adam Ottavino seems to have regressed and is no longer the dominant reliever the Yankees signed before the 2019 season.

The New York Yankees, therefore, should be looking to add to their bullpen corps, not substracting. Letting Britton walk would have meant that the trio of reliable bullpen arms was going to be just a pair of good options, and lots of question marks.

The Yankees had to pay for his worth

Britton, 32, has earned the money at this point of his career. Not only with consistent excellence, but also with stellar recent performance. In 20 games in the short 2020 season, the lefty pitched 19.0 frames and had a 1.89 ERA, a 2.61 FIP and a 3.42 xFIP. He struck out 21.1 percent of the batters he faced and was once again among the leaders in groundball rate, with 71.7 percent.

In 2020, Britton had a 1.00 WHIP and batters hit just .174 off him. He is as high-leverage as it gets for the Yankees, and will keep getting important outs for the next two seasons, at the very least.

The hope is that the Yankees can add more talent to the unit via trades, free agency or player development. To keep competing with the best of the best, addressing the bullpen is absolutely necessary.

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The clock is ticking on Yankee reliever Zack Britton

The New York Yankees have a bundle of decisions to make on how to improve the team before the start of the 2021 season. But the clock is ticking on one of those decisions.  Depending on when the World Series ends, the Yankees have only three days to decide on the option to keep Zack Britton in pinstripes. If the Yankees don’t exercise his option, Britton has five days to decide if he wants to be a Yankee or wants to hit the free-agent market.

For the most part, Zack Britton was the Yankee’s most reliable reliever in this past season. He appeared in 20 regular-season games, he posted a 1.89 ERA and surrendered zero home runs. That kind of performance nearly guarantees that the Yankees will want to exercise that option. Add to that the ex-Baltimore Orioles closer can close games. When Aroldis Chapman was out with the coronavirus, Britton saved 9 games for the Yankees.

The New York Yankee’s Zack Britton took on a new role with the Yankees, at least at the beginning of the season as Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman tested positive for the coronavirus.  Yankee manager Aaron Boone stated that Chapman would not be available to the Yankees for the foreseeable future. That decision led to Britton saving nine games in his absence.

Britton spent 2007 through the 2010 season in the minor leagues of the Orioles organization. When 2011 came around he again found himself in the minor leagues, this time with the Norfolk Tides. But just five days into the season he was called up to the majors to replace the injured Oriole’s pitcher Brian Matusz. Britton finished his rookie campaign, appearing in 28 games (all starts), pitching to a 4.61 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, and an 11-11 record. In the interleague play, he also proved his hitting ability. In eight at-bats, he had five hits, leading all American League pitchers for the 2011 season.

In 2016 he signed another new contract and recorded 33 consecutive saves by August 3, setting an MLB record for most consecutive saves to start a season by a left-handed pitcher. Britton pitched in 69 games, throwing 67 innings while allowing only four earned runs for a 0.54 ERA. This broke the MLB record for the lowest single-season ERA by a pitcher with at least 50 innings pitched.

In 2017 he became just the fifth pitcher in MLB history to convert at least 50 consecutive save opportunities. Unfortunately, 2018 didn’t start well for Zack, he signed his biggest deal with the Orioles, but he was placed on the 60-day disabled list to begin the season, as he recuperated from the ruptured Achilles tendon injury. He recorded his first save of the season on June 23rd.

On July 24, 2018, the Orioles traded Britton to the New York Yankees in exchange for Dillion Tate, Cody Carroll, and Josh Rogers. Britton went on to post a 2.88 ERA in 25 appearances for the Yankees in the 2018 season. His 1.86 ERA from 2016 to 2018 was the lowest in major league baseball of all pitchers with 100 or more innings pitched. Britton thrived in his new role as a late-game reliever. Britton signed a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year with the Yankees on January 11, 2019

Britton would appear in 66 games for 61 innings, often the lefty was used to get just one important out. He finished the season recording three saves and had an excellent ERA of 1.91 and a 3-1 record. In the 2018 and 2019 postseasons for the New York Yankees, he pitched in 12 innings while allowing just four runs. He also fields his position well with a .965 fielding percentage.

The shortened 2020 season for Britton was a good one, he went 1-2 in 20 games with an ERA of just 1.89. With the clock ticking the Yankees need to exercise his option, which will keep Britton under Yankee control for the next two seasons.

Among other decisions, the Yankees have to decide what to do with DJ LeMahieu, Masahiro Tanaka, Brett Garder among others, but none more important then holding on to Zack Britton.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam