Clear Out the Bullpen
The Yankees' bullpen might've been great by looking at the counting stats in 2023, but the average fan knows there's a lot to clean up here. And once again, the Yankees have a chance to free themselves of unneeded commitments.
First order of business? Non-tender season. Say goodbye to Lou Trivino ($4.1 million), Jonathan Loaisiga ($2.5 million) and Albert Abreu ($1 million). Right there, without any heavy lifting, you just freed up $7.6 million.
Then, it's time to go a step further. Tommy Kahnle, who Yankees fans love, was brought in as a luxury addition last offseason. He signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract, but he's very much not what the Yankees paid for. He was terrible at limiting the damage when inheriting runners and he typically made his outings far more stressful than they needed to be.
That said, Kahnle is still a serviceable pitcher. His changeup is a great asset for almost any bullpen to have. He's making $5.75 million in 2024 and it just doesn't seem like there's much use for him in the Yankees' bullpen, especially with guys like Scott Effross and Luis Gil returning next year. Jhony Brito has emerged as a key player in the relief corps. So has Ian Hamilton.
The Yankees already partially cleaned house when they released Domingo Germán, Jimmy Cordero and Matt Bowman, but there's still plenty to fine tune. Getting rid of those four pitchers, who are either injured or not very good, can save the Yankees over $12 million. That money can be spent better elsewhere.
Kahnle as bullpen fodder isn't worth $5.75 million. Trivino playing for half the season (at best) as he recovers from Tommy John isn't worth $4.1 million. Loaisiga never being available isn't worth $2.5 million. You can find 100 Abreus for the league minimum.
Clearing this money, Rizzo's salary and Torres' salary could end up totaling $40-$45 million when all is said and done. That's two high-end salaries for top starting pitchers. That's one Juan Soto and two new bullpen arms. That's ... whatever you want it to be, and it'll probably be better than what we have right now.