Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports

Think of the Yankees‘ bullpen during Aaron Boone’s tenure as manager, and it’s impossible to not think of Zack Britton or Chad Green.

Both were reliable pieces of the bridge to closer Aroldis Chapman. Britton’s power sinker made him a star closer in Baltimore before the Yankees traded for him in 2018. Green made the transition from starting to the bullpen seamlessly too. When he wasn’t spinning his blazing fastball through opposing bats, they were missing whichever was working of his slider or curveball.

My, how times have changed. Green hurt his elbow in May and missed the season with Tommy John surgery. Britton, on the other hand, had the same surgery late last year and came back too soon to struggle in 2022. It didn’t hurt the Yankees bullpen as Michael King, Ron Marinaccio, and Wandy Peralta each stepped up in high leverage.

Oh, and it should be mentioned that 2022 was both Green and Britton’s contract year. They’re hitting free agency and have become beloved Yankees in their own right.

But does New York want them back?

Pros: Britton is almost 35 and even with his 66.7% career ground ball rate (GB%), his value now is more as a teammate than it is a reliable bullpen arm. The veteran lefty serves on the MLB Players Association’s Executive Subcommittee, an instrumental group in labor relations. Britton is also known for being a clubhouse leader and promotes various causes on his social media too.

Green is younger than Britton at 31 and can still pitch well despite diminishing velocity. His average fastball velocity was still a respectable 94.7 miles per hour and he posted a 3.00 ERA with a 2.74 FIP in 14 games. His injury also means he probably won’t play until after the All-Star Break. Given his being a setup man, a one-year deal on the cheap is realistic.

Cons. The sad news for Britton and Green is that in 2022, the Yankees proved perfectly fine without either man. King stepped right into Green’s role effortlessly. Even as he eventually suffered his own elbow injury, he proved he can be a reliable setup man. What’s more, he’ll be ready for Opening Day.

Britton, in turn, saw his role filled by Peralta. The crafty lefty regularly fooled hitters with his changeup and sinker, and was the bullpen’s playoff workhorse. Britton worked hard on his rehab and tried a late-season comeback, but struggled to a 13.50 ERA in three games, walking six in just 0.2 innings. Even worse, he re-injured himself.

Verdict. Unfortunately for Green, his diminished velocity and movement mean he’s more prone to giving up home runs. The Yankees are also clearly moving away from a K/9-oriented philosophy in favor of inducing soft contact. Trading for Scott Effross and the emergence of Clay Holmes confirm this.

This would also leave room for Britton to potentially return, but he’s old and fresh off major surgery. Sad to say, but there just isn’t room on the Yankees for him, nor Green.

Prediction. Britton signs with Orioles for one year, $3 million; Green signs with Braves for one year, $5 million.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.