The New York Yankees are reportedly looking to add multiple arms via free agency to upgrade their bullpen for 2017. Here are the latest rumors from the Winter Meetings.
It has long been apparent that the New York Yankees are dead set on adding one of the three elite closers available via free agency this winter, and multiple sources have confirmed that their top target is Aroldis Chapman, who was very successful during his brief stint in the Bronx during the first half of 2016.
That hasn’t stopped the team from staying involved in discussions for the other big names on the reliever market. On Monday, ESPN’s Jim Bowden listed New York as one of six MLB clubs who are pursuing former Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen. The other five include the Nationals, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers, and Giants.
The main downside of signing Jansen is that he would require the Yankees to surrender their 2017 first rounder, which is the 17th overall pick at the moment. He would likely provide similar value to Chapman over the next few years, but for whatever reason he is expected to receive a smaller deal, perhaps because of the flash of Chapman’s record-breaking heater.
In addition to one of the top-flight closers, New York would reportedly like to add a lefty reliever to replace either Chasen Shreve or Tommy Layne. New York has already been linked to Boone Logan, who played in the Bronx from 2010-2013. Other similar players on the market include Mike Dunn and Jerry Blevins.
Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that there is a healthy market for LOOGYs at the Winter Meetings, with the Yankees, Mets, Blue Jays, Indians, Dodgers, Rockies, and Diamondbacks all on the hunt for one.
I would prefer the front office go big or go home when it comes to free agent relievers. Guys like Chapman, Jansen, and Mark Melancon can have a major impact in the late innings, and would still be useful pitchers even when they decline.
Mediocre guys like Logan, Dunn, and Blevins have a smaller margin for errors, so a multi-year deal for a middle reliever can go bad pretty quickly. New York has enough interesting arms in the upper minors that their limited funds are probably best spent elsewhere.