Yankees: Blake Treinen is the best short-term option to add to the bullpen
By Derek McAdam
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Oakland A’s are rumored to trade three of their veteran players, one of which is reliever Blake Treinen and the Yankees reportedly have interest in acquiring him.
With little rumors floating around re-signing Dellin Betances, the Yankees have already been linked to Royals reliever Tim Hill in order to have an option in case Betances walks. In addition to Hill, the Yankees have expressed interest in the 31-year-old A’s reliever.
Treinen will be entering the final year of arbitration and is set to make $7.8 million for the 2020 season. After posting a whopping 0.78 ERA during all an All-Star campaign in 2018, Treinen saw his statistics dramatically change as his ERA dropped to 4.91.
However, this should not be overly concerning as Treinen served a stint on the IL with a shoulder injury. Prior to his shoulder injury, Treinen had a 3.31 ERA up until his injury that occurred on June 20. He continued to struggle with his command for the rest of the season and could not find the success he had been used to. Treinen could have dealt with shoulder pain for the remainder of the season. Having not pitched since September 13, Treinen could come into 2020 Spring Training fully healthy.
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Treinen has an electric sinking fastball that can top 98 or 99 mph, a nasty slider, and a cutter as well. He can be a very versatile reliever who can be used in almost any inning necessary, although his most recent success has been as a closer.
For the Yankees, acquiring him is a low-risk option that can pay off well, given that he is only under contract for one year. With the exception of the 2019 season, Treinen has had excellent success with the A’s ever since he was traded from the Nationals at the 2017 Trade Deadline.
Trading for Treinen would also mean that the Yankees will save a few million in cap room, especially if they decide to let Betances walk instead of re-signing him. Even with his 2019 plagued season, Betances will still likely demand more than $8 million a season.
If Treinen has recovered from his shoulder injury, he has a good chance to return to his previous All-Star form. Odds are he will not be able to pitch to a sub 1.00 ERA, but he will surely be able to bounce back and make a big impact out of the bullpen in 2020.