7 moves the Yankees must make after embarrassing playoff exit
6. Sign Liam Hendriks and/or Blake Treinen
The Yankees will need to bolster their bullpen based on our later suggested moves.
The Yankees thought they had the best bullpen in the league. They don’t. They just invested a lot of money into it, and a number of those decisions have blown up in their faces. Paying Aroldis Chapman $16 million per year to continuously fail in the playoffs. Paying Adam Ottavino $9 million per year to be unusable down the stretch and in the postseason.
So now it’s time you add some veterans who have been around the block and are capable of pitching in high-leverage situations, no matter the inning. Oakland A’s closer Liam Hendriks is about to become a free agent, and LA Dodgers reliever (and former A!) Blake Treinen is too. How will these guys fit? We’ll get to that in a bit, but for now, this is what the Yankees need.
Hendriks has been a premier closer the past couple of seasons, and the A’s have deployed him whenever they’ve needed outs. He’ll likely be a lot more comfortable in a setup man or seventh-inning role with his nasty stuff. As for Treinen, he’s got setup man-type pitches, but he’s fallen a bit flat over the last couple of seasons after his legendary 2018 campaign with Oakland. That means he can probably be had for relatively cheap. He can be another Chad Green for the sixth or seventh innings, especially when some guys need rest.
We’ll get to how the Yankees will be able to make this possible in a bit, but the biggest thing here is stabilizing the bullpen with guys who have a track record of getting the job done in high-leverage situations. Chapman never really had that before coming to the Bronx, and neither did Ottavino. Time to switch things up.