3 lefty relievers Yankees can still sign without breaking the bank

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Andrew Chafin #37 of the Detroit Tigers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Andrew Chafin #37 of the Detroit Tigers (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

2. Andrew Chafin

All it took was 64 games in Detroit for Andrew Chafin to say “f— this.” The left-hander opted out of his contract with the Tigers earlier this offseason, and opted instead to explore free agency once again.

Chafin wasn’t quite lights out like he was in 2021, but he finished with a 2.83 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 1.17 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 64 games (57.1 innings). His Statcast page is pretty sexy, too. He limits hard contact and gets hitters to chase/swing and miss.

The veteran is now seeking a “long-term contract” after earning $6.5 million in 2022. It’s unclear how lengthy of a deal he’ll get entering his age-33 season, though. If the Yankees really wanted to press the issue, they could give him three years and backload the deal/include opt-outs or buyouts.

Much like the Rodón signing, adding someone like Chafin would be keeping a keen eye on the future. The Yankees stand to lose Luis Severino, Frankie Montas and Wandy Peralta after the 2023 season. Additionally, the team has to be unsure of how Clarke Schmidt (performance issues) and Michael King (elbow injury, but on the mend) factor into their bigger picture. Should one of those guys no longer be sufficient, then you have two vacancies heading into 2024.

Maybe three years and $18 million for Chafin? He gets $4 million in Year 1 and then $7 million in 2024 and 2025?