Yankees Rumors: NY Still Interested in Adding Free Agent Reliever
The New York Yankees are reportedly still interested in adding another bullpen arm via free agency, although their tight budget may prevent them from doing so.
Even after inking closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year $85 million deal during the Winter Meetings, the New York Yankees may not be done beefing up their bullpen. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the team is interested in adding another free agent reliever to help set up Chapman, naming Brad Ziegler and Boone Logan as possibilities.
Of course, Sherman seems to suggest that New York may not have the payroll space remaining for any other additions. After signing Chapman, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated that he had spent hid allocated budget for the winter, so unless the team unloads additional money by trading Brett Gardner or Chase Headley, these relievers may be out of the club’s price range.
Logan has been connected to New York at several points this offseason and would be a clear upgrade over their current lefty specialists Tommy Layne and Chasen Shreve. The big 32-year-old lefty was a trusted member of skipper Joe Girardi’s late inning crew from 2010-2013 and put up a solid 3.69 ERA and 3.23 FIP in 46.1 IP last year despite pitching his home games in Coors Field.
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Although he’s getting a little long in the tooth at 37 years old, Ziegler has quietly been one of the most consistently excellent late-inning weapons in the game the past few years. His 2.25 ERA and 3.10 FIP over 68 IP in 2016 is right in line with his usual numbers. Because he relies on deception rather than overpowering stuff, he seems like a guy who will age very well, and is a good bet to remain effective into his 40’s.
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In their 2016-2017 Top 50 MLB Free Agents list, MLB Trade Rumors predicts that both guys will require a two year commitment, projecting a $12 million guarantee for Logan and $18 million for Ziegler. As much as I’d like to have those guys in the pen next year, it is worth asking if another expensive reliever is the best use of the club’s limited funds when there are so many other questions on the roster.