Just as I predicted, the New York Yankees wild shopping spree has come to a screeching halt even with a number of holes let unfilled.
Forget that the Yankees are missing two starting pitchers, a legit second baseman, possibly a third baseman and some viable bench guys to back up all the many veteran and injury prone players, the bullpen is in major flux.
The plan is for Robertson to take over the ninth inning, which is a huge gamble.
No doubt, over the last three seasons, Robertson has been one of the best set-up guys in the game.
But you do not earn the nickname “Houdini” for no reason, as it is typical for Robertson to load the bases, which is not ideal for a closer.
The danger comes if Robertson has a 20+ pitch save or blows a few because reality is the Yankees cannot turn to Kelly or Claiborne for help so adding a proven arm is vital.
The point is a deep and talented bullpen is invaluable to a team’s success.
A lights-out bullpen makes everything easier, as it takes the pressure off everyone. Knowing that a bullpen can limit runs scoring and cut a struggling or older starter’s outing to six innings is a huge difference maker.
If the bullpen can give a team a better chance of winning and that is the goal, why are the Yankees sitting still?
The best free agent relievers are coming off the boards now and the Yankees are not reported to be involved with any of them.
- The Tigers learned the importance of a closer so they made certain to nab Joe Nathan.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) December 3, 2013
- The Baltimore Orioles have upped their offer in trying to lock in Grant Balfour.
Orioles went 2 yrs/$6M per, then 3/$7M (incentives), but Balfour wants 3/$8M w/ vesting option. Source says "they'll be no vesting option."
— Jen Royle (@Jen_Royle) December 15, 2013
- Andrew Bailey will stay with the Red Sox for another season.
- CBS Sports just confirmed that the Indians just signed John Axford to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million, where were the Yankees on this one?
It would be reckless for the Yankees to fill the bullpen spots with the losers from the starting rotation competition in Spring Training.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney is still out there but the Yankee brass will use his antics as an excuse to stay away.
What about Joaquin Benoit?
Rumor has it that the Padres are in heavy pursuit of Benoit to be Huston Street‘s set-up man, and gives San Diego experienced insurance.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 12, 2013
The Yankees don’t have a proven closer, not yet, so you would think they would be heavily in on a guy like Benoit.
Proving further that the Yankees off-season plan was to spend on big names regardless of needs to soften losing the best player on the team.
Do you know if Beltran can secretly pitch or something?
It makes no sense to over pay multiple outfielders only to skip on real needs that aren’t even expensive but are essential, like a proven reliever to back up D-Rob.
THIS JUST IN:
J.P. Howell signing with the Dodgers. Cross off another lefty-reliever for the #Yankees.
— Gavin Ewbank (@GavinEwbank) December 17, 2013