New York Yankees: Could Another 'Super Bullpen' Be Formed In 2017? 1
Brad Mills, USATSI

Could there be a possibility the New York Yankees have a sequel to this year’s monster bullpen in 2017? It’s definitely possible.

Prior to the 2016 season, the New York Yankees made a deal that no one saw coming and acquired flamethrower Aroldis Chapman. Adding Chapman to the bullpen created the three-headed monster of Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.

The trio would have much success in their short tenure together until the trade deadline when they traded away Chapman and Miller while at the same time acquired Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren.

Since joining the Yankees, Clippard has been much better than expected. He has an ERA of 0.90 in 22 games pitched. With Clippard under contract through the 2017 season as well, he could play a role in a possible “super pen” for next season.

So with all of the talk of a sequel to No Runs DMC, which relievers can actually make this possible? Let’s take a look:

Mark Melancon:

The first option is Washington Nationals closer Mark Melancon. Melancon will be entering the 2017 season at the age of 32. Even though the age is rising, the ERA is dropping.

Melancon is familiar with the Yankees organization. In the ninth round of the 2006 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected him from the University of Arizona. Melancon would only pitch 15 games in a Yankee uniform. The numbers weren’t so hot. But hey, the kid was a rookie and has gone on to stardom since.

The closer really found himself in 2013 when he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates and solidified himself as a reliable bullpen arm that the Bucs desperately needed. He showcased an ERA of 1.39 that year and the success only started continuing from there.

In his last two seasons, Melancon has a combined 1.99 ERA with 93 saves.

Him returning to the Bronx would be a perfect reunion for both sides. The Yankees will be receiving a lockdown closer and Melancon will be returning to the place where he made his big league debut.

Kenley Jansen:

The second option is Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. Jansen, like the rest of the relievers mentioned, is a free agent at the end of the season who will be looking for his big payday. But what makes Jansen worthy of all the money he is going to get?

Jansen is having the best season of his career in 2016. Equipped with a 1.81 ERA, this is the is the lowest his ERA has been since his rookie season in 2010. He currently has 45 saves which passed his previous career high of 44.

Out of all the relievers mentioned, Jansen is the biggest long shot. He has been a lifetime Dodger and loves the city of Los Angeles. The only way Jansen would make his way to the Bronx is if they guarantee him the closer role.

In December when the Dodgers “acquired” Aroldis Chapman, Jansen was very displeased with the fact he would not be closing every night. Jansen might be able to hold the closer role if he was signed, but it’s doubtful the Yankees would guarantee him anything prior to the signing.

Aroldis Chapman:

The final option is a relief pitcher that all Yankee fans are very familiar with, Aroldis Chapman. As noted, Chapman was acquired by the Yankees in the offseason and was a key component from the team boasting an ERA of 2.01 with 20 saves.

Chapman became a fan-favorite in the Bronx as fans were dazzled by his 103 m.p.h. fastball lighting up the radar gun every night. Not only did fans love Chapman, but he has stated that he loves pitching in New York.

“I feel very happy and comfortable here in the city,” Chapman said, via Randy Miller of NJ Advance Media. “At the same time, this is a business and if I happened to be traded away, I’m pretty sure they’re going to be doing it for the good of the team.”

“That being said, if the opportunity comes up where I can come back to the team, I would be more than happy.”

As noted, Chapman states that he would be more than happy if he gets the opportunity to return to the Bronx. This could definitely be a possibility with Chapman entering the free-agent market after the season.

Out of all of the options mentioned, Chapman is by far the most possible to be a reality. It will be interesting to see where the conversations with the Cuban-born star lead to throughout the offseason.

The New York Yankees have put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and have a chance this offseason to build another monstrous bullpen.


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