New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is in the hunt for relief pitching and he has reportedly shown interest in A’s lefty reliever Sean Doolittle.
Although the New York Yankees aren’t going to sell off top prospects, they are still looking to make improvements by July 31’s non-waiver trade deadline with adding top relievers on Brian Cashman’s wish list.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, New York is “one of many” teams interested in Oakland Athletics left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle, who is expected to hit the trade market later this month. Heyman also notes the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals as potential fits.
In 22 appearances this season, the 30-year-old owns a 3.54 ERA (2.51 FIP) with 29 strikeouts over 20.1 innings of work (12.84 K/9). His walks-per-nine ratio also sits at 0.89 — good enough for the third-best rate among Major League relievers (min. 20 IP) behind Roberto Osuna and Kenley Jansen.
Doolittle has also held left-handed hitters hitless through 23 at-bats. That would give the Yankees a trusted southpaw in the ‘pen who’s able to handle high-leveraged situations before the back-end tandem of four-time All-Star Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. Over the last 30 days, New York’s bullpen ERA of 5.02 is the seventh-highest in the majors and has been the main culprit in their dismal 9-17 record in one-run games.
The catch here is that the Yankees aren’t expected to take that deep of a dive into the prospect pool unless it’s for a top line starter. Many others are in the hunt for relief pitching, which could give the A’s some flexibility to get greedy. Plus, Doolittle’s control beyond 2017 (under team control until 2019) could also jack up the cost to a total in which Cashman isn’t willing to spend.