2. 1998 New York Yankees
Does the Yankee bullpen of 2016 have the potential to surpass the greatness of the 1998 team? It certainly won’t be easy, because any team with Mariano Rivera on it is hard to top. Rivera alone could have got the ’98 Yankee bullpen to the #2 spot on our list, posting a 5.0 WAR, which is unheard of for relief pitchers of any role.
His postseason is really what’s mind-blowing. He threw 13.1 innings, gave up 6 hits, 0 runs, and struck out 11. Simply, untouchable.
Rivera’s dominance should not overshadow other contributors of the ’98 bullpen, though. Ramiro Mendoza won 10 games in relief, Jeff Nelson served as a valuable right handed reliever, while Mike Stanton and Graeme Lloyd were weapons from the left side.
Similar to the other teams on this list, the 1998 Yankees were flat out winners. They were one of the most complete teams of all time, and the bullpen certainly defined the word complete. Whether it was a lefty, righty, middle or late innings, they had someone who could give their team a situational advantage. Rivera was the best to ever hold the title of closer, and his dominance cements the’ 98 Yankees bullpen at number 2 on our list.
However, if the Yankees of 1998 were so dominant, whose bullpen could possibly upstage their great group?