Yankees: 2021 Free Agent Replacements for Zack Britton

New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
New York Yankees reliever Zack Britton (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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3. Yankees Target: Blake Treinen

Yankees target
Blake Treinen with the Oakland A’s(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Most New York Yankees fans wanted Blake Treinen after the 2019 season anyway.

Blake Treinen fit the Yankees’ ethos perfectly after the 2019 campaign wrapped, which is why it was all too perfect when the Dodgers wised up and finished the deal. The West Coast Yankees, the shrewd shoppers who will likely be standing in the way of New York’s next World Series opportunity…yup. Chef’s kiss.

Essentially, Treinen was excellent (read: spotless) in 2018 and backslid in ’19 for no good reason, as relievers are wont to do, making him a perfect option to slot into a middle-innings low-pressure role in 2020. Unfortunately, he was less of a bargain — one year for $10 million — than many anticipated after his 4.91 ERA campaign in 2019 (though he still maintained a K per inning).

If Treinen lands closer to his sixth-place Cy Young (!) form from 2018, when he whiffed 100 in 80.1 innings pitched with a 0.78 ERA, he’ll be earning a multi-year deal in ’20, though likely not one that carries him far beyond Britton’s two additional seasons.

The scenario that sends the new Dodger to the Bronx involves a boffo 50-gamer and a postseason full of shining moments. Odds are the Yanks won’t be replacing Britton with any type of high-risk option, and it’ll be tough for Treinen to prove his stability in such a short sprint.