2. Corey Kluber for Andrew Heaney
When Corey Kluber or Luis Severino return, they’re going to demand a roster spot, but it’s quite possible only Kluber will require a place in the rotation. Sevy’s return feels more like a pipe dream than ever before, and dreaming of him throwing more than one or two innings a game down the stretch (despite an obvious lack of structural damage) feels tough to execute.
Kluber, currently midway through his rehab stint, is still building up steam. When he comes back, though, will he simply bump Andrew Heaney out of the rotation? Or off the roster entirely?
Let’s say German never returns and Abreu is still active. Would you rather see Heaney trot in from the bullpen in any scenario that the hard-throwing righty previously would’ve occupied? Is there any place in a bullpen stacked with Joely Rodriguez, Wandy Peralta and Aroldis Chapman for Heaney to pop in for an inning or two? He wouldn’t have a role. He’d be Brody Koerner, the last man at the edges of the bullpen.
Is it really worth bending over backwards for that?
Losing a trade deadline acquisition for … well, nothing would sting. But downgrading the roster by losing Abreu or Rodriguez would feel equally hollow. Maybe New York will play it “safe,” demote Abreu, then slice Heaney 10 days later if Kluber proves himself healthy. Either way, this could get unsavory.
Which brings us to…