Thursday, November 3, 2016
Both the Mets and Yankees—for totally different reasons—could use a big boost in the bullpen this offseason.
In the Bronx, the Yankees will likely look to recreate some of what was lost from baseball’s best bullpen when both Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were traded away. While Dellin Betances, despite some late-season hiccups, can be a big-time closer moving forward, another top arm or two behind him can only help manager Joe Girardi in 2017. That’s why you’ll see the Yankees linked to a Chapman return when the hot stove heats up.
For the Mets, the combination of Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed is more than enough to suffice in high-leverage, late-game situations. That, of course, is contingent on both being available. After Tuesday’s news of Familia’s arrest for a domestic violence incident, the future of the NL saves leader is on hold.
Luckily for any bullpen-needy team, a potential low-risk, high-reward bullpen ace is available and ready to showcase his health and skills to interested parties. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, former Royals closer Greg Holland is healthy after missing all of 2016 after Tommy John surgery and will hold a showcase in the next week.
I’m fairly certain the Yankees will sign a closer. Chapman is probably the best option, but will probably also be the most expensive in terms of salary. Kenley Jansen is also intriguing, but he will likely cost a first round draft pick and also won’t be cheap. They could go after someone like Mark Melancon, who is not quite as dominant as Chapman/Jansen but should come with less of a financial committment.
Holland is an interesting guy to take a flier on, but not someone I’d be ready to count on as the only option.
Given what elite relievers are fetching on the mid-season trade market, I think it’s defensible to overpay for them in free agency. Barring injury, you can likely flip them for good prospects if you don’t see contention in your future, although you may have to eat some salary to do it.
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