The Yankees still have some 40-man roster space to clear and $10 million to work with. They’re ready to get a reliever. What about via trade?
The New York Yankees jettisoned Adam Ottavino in a pure salary dump this week, placing the player who’d previously been among their best relievers in 2019 directly onto the roster of a division rival — well, after he’d fallen hard off the trust tree in the ’19 postseason.
So, what’s next? Well, the pennies saved won’t go untouched — the Yankees are likely to use up the $10 million to absorb the final year (?) of Brett Gardner’s career, as well as acquire a reliever to take Ottavino’s place.
Based on the way the slider-dependent righty pitched in 2020, there probably are legitimate avenues to improve upon that short-relief spot, though the method of Otto’s departure to Boston does remain unsavory.
If the Yankees want to sign a reliever, there are plenty available, from old friends Shane Greene and David Robertson to Trevor Rosenthal and Alex Colome.
But it could be even cheaper to swing another deal for a controllable young arm, too — especially since there are still some 40-man roster spots that could use clearing.
Without Ottavino, and adding Corey Kluber, Jameson Taillon, and DJ LeMahieu, the Yankees’ roster is now completely filled up again. These trades could clear out more 40-man fluff and give the Yanks the ‘pen threat they definitely need.
3. Amir Garrett
Amir Garrett’s ‘tude would fit perfectly on the Yankees.
Ignore the obvious ways in which Amir Garrett, a hard-throwing lefty, fills a clear bullpen need for the Yankees. Focus, for a second, on the culture fit.
Garrett would bring the type of edge and killer instinct the team lacked last season following CC Sabathia’s retirement, and he’d be available several times a week to bore in on lefty batters. He played basketball at St. John’s. He’s got New York toughness. He’d be a dream.
And oh yeah, he’s a pretty impressive pitcher, too.
Garrett comes with three years of control attached to his name, and only costs $1.5 million for the 2021 season, assuming it’s played in full. In the shortened 2020 campaign, he continued his breakout, whiffing 26 men in 18.1 innings pitched. His most recent full season consisted of a remarkable 78 Ks in 56 innings pitched, alongside a 3.21 ERA. Garrett isn’t just good; he’s great, and he’s peaking.
The Reds haven’t had substantive talks with the Yankees this offseason despite reports of a sell-off — no, not even for Luis Castillo — and Sonny Gray and Eugenio Suarez don’t exactly stand out as perfect trade targets. But if the Bombers haven’t engaged Cincy and dangled a 40-man player or two for Garrett, they’re not doing their due diligence.