In need of some middle relief help, one name that comes to mind is a former New York Yankees’ left-handed reliever.
Given the way teams like the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians have fueled postseason runs with an all-around excellent bullpen unit, the New York Yankees have taken note.
Along with starting pitching, adding a closer, to help relinquish the bad taste left by Dellin Betances‘ abysmal September as the closer, is on the top of Brian Cashman’s shopping list.
Additionally, given the fact that this team is more than one move away from being playoff-caliber, the middle relief which was wretched for the entirety of 2016 needs to be bolstered if New York plans to content come 2017.
With the addition of a closer, Tyler Clippard and Adam Warren would slide down into the middle-relief unit and joined by Tommy Layne, Richard Bleier, and other options like Bryan Mitchell, Jacob Lindgren, Ben Heller, Nick Rumbelow, Johnny Barbato and more.
Many words come to mind when describing this name as a group and while some are experienced and reliable, inefficient and unstable are the two words that represent them the most.
Keep in mind: middle relief isn’t priority No. 1 here but certainly an area of concern. One man who can help is former New York Yankee, Boone Logan.
I know, I know he’s not the guy to take over and solve the middle relief woes New York experienced a year ago, but Logan is coming off a steady year where he sustained a 3.69 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 57 strikeouts compared to 20 walks ratio in 46.1 innings of work.
Plus, his .166/.265/.313 opponent’s slash line (keep in mind: he pitched in Coors Field) could bring down the seventh-worst HR/9 rate Yankees’ relievers posted throughout the second half of last season.
Last season could be viewed as a fallacy, though. In the two years after leaving New York, his ERA stood at an astronomical 5.37 in 95 games but there was a source for finding success in 2016.
According to Brooks Baseball, his sinker’s vertical movement increased from 5.98 inches two years ago to 7.20 inches and with that, saw a decrease in opponent’s batting average from .400 to a mere .136 against his sinker.
This also had a major impact on his 49.5 % ground ball rate. Like pitching in Coors Field, that is the prototypical pitcher you want to have in the sandbox that is Yankee Stadium.
As for the price, when he signed a three-year, $16.5 million contract before the 2014 season, many viewed that as a more than generous offer given the fact that Logan was nothing more than your average bullpen option.
Now, however, he has established himself a steady veteran reliever. Therefore, think about a similar deal on this market in the area of two years and $4.5-5.5 million per year.
Considering his age, a deal similar to his last is expected. We’ll see how this hot stove season pans out as every single consideration is nothing more than a thought.
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