1. Zack Britton
The Yankees cannot continue forth with a high-priced bullpen and not have it work out. It’s simply no way to live.
Truth be told, we thought one of Aroldis Chapman or Zack Britton would be gone before the trade deadline given their dreadful performances, but the overhaul didn’t get that extreme. However, it surely will in the offseason.
The now cost-conscious Yankees will likely exceed the luxury tax threshold next year now that they won’t be repeat offenders, but they will ensure every last dollar is spent wisely. That means figuring out a way to get rid of one of Chapman or Britton, and in this case, we’re going with the left-handed setup man.
Britton’s arduous offseason, which featured a bout with COVID-19 followed by elbow surgery, has led to his struggles in 2021. He’s been so bad that if a few advantageous double play balls didn’t bounce in his favor, his 6.35 ERA and 1.77 WHIP would be even worse … if that’s even possible.
The left-hander has appeared in 13 games and only three of his 11.1 innings of work have been clean. Oh yeah, did we forget he went on the IL a separate time because of a hamstring issue? He’s given up a run in more than half of his outings. He’s allowed 10 hits and 10 walks, and there’s really no particular sign of improvement.
He’s owed $14 million next year. The Yankees will not be paying that if he doesn’t finish the year strong. They will either find some other team to eat the salary by attaching a prospect to him in a trade or they will eat salary in exchange for another player they could use. Someone will take a chance on Britton, too, so don’t think his trade market will be dry.
The emergence of Jonathan Loaisiga has changed a lot. There’s no need for Britton at that price if Chapman, Loaisiga, Chad Green, Lucas Luetge, Nestor Cortes and Clay Holmes (?) can perform the way they have.
Say goodbye to one of the expensive relievers in the offseason. We’re just betting it’s Britton who will be sent packing.