Blake Treinen
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

A New York Yankees pursuit of free-agent reliever Blake Treinen is absolutely a risk worth taking, despite a little uncertainty.

The Oakland Athletics have officially non-tendered Blake Treinen, making the former all-star a free agent. The New York Yankees have been attached thanks to a Ken Rosenthal report.

Now that the reliever is on the market, the question is should the Yankees pursue him? Will he stop the Yankees from signing Betances? What about Cole?

Let’s break those things down.

Should the Yankees pursue Blake Treinen?

Yes. He is a low-risk, high-reward buy. Yes, he’s low risk. Why? He likely won’t be seeking a long-term contract. He’ll be looking for a 1-2-year deal for roughly what he was likely going to be paid in arbitration.

He’s only one year removed from being the best reliever in all of baseball after putting together one of the best seasons by a reliever in recent memory. Every team in search of a reliever should be interested. A sleeper team to look out for is the Mets.

Will Treinen stop the Yankees from signing Betances?

No. Like I said, his contract won’t be that big and Betances is also not going to be looking for a long-term deal either. Relievers are inconsistent year to year, and with Betances’s injury situation in 2019, his demands won’t be as much. Teams won’t necessarily want to pay a reliever like Betances or Treinen because they are seen as riskier.

I disagree with Treinen as a risk, but I understand why some believe it.

If the Yankees signed Betances and Treinen, they would form the greatest bullpen in the history of baseball. Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Betances, Treinen. That is an unstoppable force and would shorten the game for every team. Aaron Boone showed his mastery at handling the bullpen in 2019, and with more weapons, he’d be even more effective.

Will Treinen stop the Yankees from signing Gerrit Cole?

No. The Yankees could sign Gerrit Cole, Dellin Betances and Blake Treinen if they wanted to. They won’t, but they absolutely could.

Either way, signing a reliever to a relatively smaller contract isn’t going to stop them. If the Yankees really want Gerrit Cole, which it appears that they do, they will sign Gerrit Cole.

To quote CC Sabathia, “You offer that *censored* enough money he gonna wanna come here.” Adding Treinen won’t take away from that and there’s no reason to think it will. Yes, that statement does account for the fact the Yankees operate under a budget.

Why won’t the Yankees sign him?

A few potential reasons. The first is that the Yankees aren’t willing to pay at a price he wants, which is fine. The Yankees should back away if they feel they won’t get fair market value for Treinen.

They can still sign Betances and other relievers to fill out the bullpen. Another reason is that the Yankees are more focused on starting pitching and their interest in the former All-Star has been greatly exaggerated. Brian Cashman moves in the shadows and it’s hard to believe any reports on his potential interest in players outside of the names he confirms himself.

The final reason is maybe Treinen just doesn’t want to play for the Yankees. It’s unlikely, but that is possible.

There’s a lot of unknown with Blake Treinen, but he comes with a sky-high ceiling, as already shown. The former A is only one year removed from being the most dominant reliever in baseball.

It’s possible he could do that again, and with new pitching coach Matt Blake, they might be able to make it happen. If a player can make the team better, there’s no reason to not want him. Blake Treinen can do exactly that: improve the Yanks.

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