Yankees Free Agent Showdown: Boone Logan or Travis Wood?
The New York Yankees are rumored to be shopping for a veteran left-handed reliever on the free agent market this offseason.
Although their primary focus is on bringing former closer Aroldis Chapman back into the fold this offseason, the New York Yankees are reportedly considering other upgrades for their 2017 bullpen as well. A few weeks back,
A few weeks back, Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote that the Yankees were looking into free agent lefty Boone Logan, who put up a solid 3.69 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 46.1 IP this season despite having to play half his games at Coors Field.
As an added bonus, Logan has already shown he can thrive in the bright lights of the big city, with four years as a late-inning reliever in Yankees skipper Joe Girardi‘s pen from 2010-2013. He accumulated a 3.38 and 3.63 FIP in 256 appearances over his four seasons in pinstripes.
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The club’s incumbent left-handed relievers include mid-season pickup Tommy Layne, the talented but erratic Chasen Shreve, and Triple-A arms Dietrich Enns and Tyler Webb. Each of those guys has had their moments in the past two years, but I could see why New York might be looking to upgrade.
One interesting alternative to Logan could be fellow southpaw Travis Wood, who put up a 2.95 ERA and 4.54 FIP in 61 IP for the Chicago Cubs in 2016. The peripheral stats are kind of a red flag, but Wood has had some solid seasons with roughly the same strikeout and walk rates in the past. You could make the argument that he was just unlucky with a few extra balls leaving the yard in a small sample last year.
The big advantage Wood has over Logan is his versatility. Like Logan, he’s demonstrated that he’s a capable LOOGY, but with the added bonus of being able to work as a starter if needed as well. As recently as 2013, Wood was worth 4.4 wins above replacement as a starting pitcher according to Baseball-Reference’s metric, making his first All-Star team, and pitching to a 3.11 ERA and 3.89 FIP in 200 IP.
Wood hasn’t always been that spectacular as a starter, but his resume indicates he can be a useful back-of-the-rotation/spot starter at the very least. He’s also a little more than two years younger (29 vs. 32 as of this writing) than Logan.
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The upside of Logan is that he shouldn’t cost nearly as much as Wood. A one-year pact of around $5 million or so seems like a reasonable prediction for Boone, whereas Wood is expected to land a three-year $21 million deal by MLB Trade Rumors. You get what you pay for I guess, but I’d like to see the Yankees go for the younger and more versatile arm here.