SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 08: Aroldis Chapman #54 of the New York Yankees walks off the field after retiring the side against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game Four of the American League Division Series at PETCO Park on October 08, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
When the New York Yankees needed their $17 million closer to close out an 8-4 game, he blew it. They didn’t even have their $13 million relievers to help, as Zack Britton is on the IL (again). It’s horrible that they have $30 million invested in two relievers that have cost us games or have been hurt. They can’t keep paying a premium for relievers, because they’ve got more money in Aroldis Chapman and Britton than they do in their entire rotation outside of Gerrit Cole. The super bullpen idea works because the Yankees have cheap guys who are great. Darren O’Day, Lucas Luetge, Jonathan Loaisiga, Chad Green, Luis Cessa, Nestor Cortes Jr., they’ve all been rock solid. Even Albert Abreu and Michael King have sub 2.20 ERAs as relievers.
Honest question, has anyone actually missed Britton? With how our relievers have been dealing, Britton was an afterthought. You can’t have a guy who’s making $27 million over the next two seasons just not have a great impact on your team. The Yankees opting into that club option this offseason might have cost them a chance at Michael Brantley (who has a 145 wRC+ in Houston and makes $32 million over the next two seasons). In 2022 the Yankees’ third and fifth highest-paid guys will be Britton and Chapman, what are we doing? Guys sign for $3 mil a year every single offseason who can be stable out of the bullpen. Andrew Chafin, Kenyan Middleton, Ian Kennedy, and Aaron Loup have all been stellar for $2-3 million apiece.
The Yankees should sell on Chapman and Britton now so that they can free up money for a huge offseason and overall a better bullpen.
Play Into Desperation
The Yankees aren’t in a position where they have to trade them. They could make a desperate team with an aggressive GM like the Philadelphia Phillies to give up assets for a guy like Britton or Chapman if the Yankees eat some of the money. Since 2020, the Phillies bullpen has a 133 ERA- (worst in baseball). They could use a guy like Britton or Chapman who can be a good reliever for them. Assuming the Yankees eat some of the money, they could entice the Phillies to make a splash.
Erik Miller; A LHP from their organization who is a 45 FV prospect and has a mid-low 90s fastball that can hit 96. He’s posted a 1.47 ERA and a 34.4% K% in 36.2 IP in pro-ball, and with an ETA of 2022 or 2023. He’s someone who the Yankees could have in their pipeline and either develop or they could deal him. This is a perfect fit for both sides, as the Phillies get a good reliever in a position of need.
This wouldn’t be rebuilding for the Yankees, just retooling, and they still can add a CF and SP at the deadline. The Yankees can’t keep spending a fortune on relievers, and they should sell these guys now before it’s too late.