1. Albert Abreu
If you didn’t already know this was the top candidate, then you haven’t been watching enough Yankees baseball this year. Albert Abreu, another product of the Yankees front office being unable to admit defeat, has never been good. He’s shown spurts of promise that may have suggested he could fulfill a low-leverage, innings-eating bullpen role — which, hey, has value! — but nothing else has given the Yankees a reason to keep him beyond a couple of weeks at a time.
Hand up, we thought it was egregious he was traded for Jose Trevino because, well, Trevino was bad before coming to New York and Abreu finally found his footing after falling flat with the Yankees his first two tries. But it worked out. Trevino is an All-Star (or, at least was) and Abreu was designated for assignment by the Rangers. And then again by the Royals. And then picked up by the Yankees because … the front office wanted to “double win” the Trevino trade. What better way to blow smoke up your bum than to acquire a diamond in the rough and then get back the player you traded for said diamond in the rough and manage to use him in a productive way?
But Abreu cannot be used in a productive way if the bullpen is thin, and he’s a borderline “contributor” even when the unit fully healthy. He’d never sniff a postseason roster. Again, his value is eating innings in the lowest leverage of situations to save other arms from overuse. That is it.
He hasn’t been awful with the Yankees since returning, but he has no discernible role that helps the team/bullpen, and he’s been dreadful when he’s had to fill meaningful spots as the relief injuries/regressions piled up. He’s now returning to the version of himself that likely convinced the Yankees to part with him in the first place.
Kick him out, promote any one of Richard Rodriguez, Ryan Weber or Greg Weissert, and you immediately have a better bullpen. The Yankees are 17-25 since the beginning of July. How many more deflating losses and uninspiring play can the team take before there’s no sail left in their wings six weeks from now?