If the playoffs have taught us one thing, it’s that Tommy Kahnle has become a force that the New York Yankees are glad they picked up.
Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman received that trio from the Chicago in exchange for Blake Rutherford, struggling reliever Tyle, Clippard and two secondary farmhands. Considering what he’s getting, especially from the 28-year-old Kahnle, that seems like an incredible return.
In four appearances for New York in the 2017 postseason in the Wild Card game, ALDS, and ALCS, Kahnle has yet to allow a single hit in seven innings of work while striking out seven compared to one walk.
His latest performance was arguably the most impressive, as he held baseball’s most powerful offense hitless in two innings in Game 2 of the ALCS — keeping the Yankees’ offense in a game in which Justin Verlander overpowered them.
Tommy Kahnle was amped after striking out Jose Altuve pic.twitter.com/Xa6sGv4SeA
— Rob Lopez (@r0bato) October 14, 2017
This puts some things into perspective for New York. Sure, Kahnle is a weapon that can be and has been deployed without fear this postseason, but he’s also a weapon that under team control until 2021.
That’s right, by the time 2017 reaches its conclusion, the Yankees will have the back-end tandem of Kahnle, Robertson, Chad Green, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman for 2018 plus the first name, who ranked third among American League relievers with a 13.79 K/9 ratio in 2017. Among Major League relievers with at least 60 innings pitched, he trailed only Craig Kimbrel, Corey Knebel, and Kenley Jansen in that category.
He also set a career-high with 96 strikeouts in 69 games between the Yankees and White Sox and recorded at least one strikeout in 29 straight games from May 6 to July 22, marking the Majors’ second-longest streak of the season.
Kahnle — and specifically the deal as a whole — provides a narrative to what the 2017 Yankees are all about: win now but be prepared for the future.
Frazier has been a major contributor to the team’s postseason run and will be a free agent after the season. Robertson, who’s acting like a fireman for New York, is under contract next year and Kahnle is here to stay. The trade benefits the franchise immediately and in the future.
And the way it’s developing right now, the three players acquired, especially Kahnle, are a major reason why the Yankees are four wins away from the World Series and set up to be a threat for years to come.