1. RP Daniel Bard
This could also be Marlins reliever Anthony Bass. Or Pirates reliever David Bednar. Or a couple of others out there who you might not think of as options off the top of your head.
But Rockies right-hander Daniel Bard might be the top forgettable option if the Yankees are now seeking multiple bullpen arms. Bard returned to MLB in 2020 after not pitching since 2013 and surprised the league during the shortened season with impressive play. He then stumbled badly in 2021 to take the shine off.
Now, in 2022, he’s got 21 saves with a 1.91 ERA, 3.55 FIP (needs a little fixing), 1.04 WHIP and 43 strikeouts in 37 games (37.2 innings). The 37-year-old’s calling card is a 98 MPH sinker that’s mostly paired with an 88 MPH slider. Gotta like that mix.
Additionally, all of Bard’s advanced numbers are way above average … except for chase rate and walk percentage, where he ranks among the league’s worst. The Yankees’ staff has been known to fix such issues, though, so that’s nothing to fret about, especially if Bard’s succeeded in this manner across more than half the season.
And it’s not like he would struggle outside the closer role. Bard only has 52 career saves, 41 of which came the last two seasons. As long as he’s getting high-leverage outings while bridging the gap to Clay Holmes, it shouldn’t matter.
If a former Red Sox can help the Yankees make a deep playoff run, well, that’d be the final shovel of dirt on Boston’s pauper’s grave burial in 2022.