Thursday, January 18, 2018
The 2017 Yankees relievers were elite, by any metric you care to use. They had the third-lowest ERA (3.34); the lowest average against (.204); the highest strikeout rate (29.1 percent); the most Wins Above Replacement (9.2). They were good. They were so, so good.
Now realize they could possibly be better in 2018. Then, think about the fact that if they were, it might put them in the conversation for “the best bullpen of all time,” an extremely unofficial title that’s nonetheless fun to think about.
How could those things happen? And what does “best bullpen” even mean? Let’s dig in.
I still think the Yankees will end up trading a reliever or two to make some more cap room to add a sixth starting pitcher and/or infielder. And while that makes sense, it’s fun to dream about a world where they don’t do that and go into the season with a bullpen that really looks like it has a chance to be historically great.
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