Yankees Free Agent Target: Is Burke Badenhop A Yankees Necessity?


As the New York Yankees seek to sort out their pitching staff for 2015, the potential addition of Burke Badenhop has some positives and negatives. So let´s take a look at both to see if he is worthy of true consideration.

First, let´s look at the positives.

He had what many consider to be his best season in 2014 as part of Boston´s bullpen. The first bright spot that jumps out at you is his 2.29 ERA. That means he is battle-tested against the American League East, an obvious plus. [related category]

And he gets even more interesting when you look at his minuscule total of only one home run allowed in 70.2 innings. That breaks down to 0.6 per nine innings. That is very impressive. And if there is a stadium that rivals Yankee Stadium in coziness, Fenway  Park may be the one.

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and others have struggled to keep the baseball in the yard at Yankee Stadium. Badenhop´s recent success in avoiding that adds to his value. Of course, any time the Yankees can take a piece away from the Red Sox, it is worthy of consideration. That is like doubling the pleasure. And at 31, Badenhop could be venturing into the sweet spot of his prime.

Now for the negatives.

The biggest is his meager strike out total. He fanned only 40 in those 70.2 innings. Relievers that allow hitters to put the ball in play are asking for trouble. So Joe Girardi might be hesitant to bring him in with runners in scoring position. That would be a risky proposition.

But perhaps the biggest road block to adding Badenhop is the depth the Yankees already have in the ´pen.

If David Robertson returns and one of the members of the starting rotation gets bumped, will there be room for a right hander who typically does not mow batters down? Probably not.

So the Yankees should pass on Badenhop and save the money to use in other areas.