Filling out the bullpen might not be Brian Cashman’s top priority, but it’s something the Yankees must do effectively to contend in 2019.
The chase to sign Manny Machado is understandably the Yankees top priority this week. That doesn’t mean it’s the organization’s only priority. It’s safe to expect Brian Cashman to move quickly on a couple of bullpen arms before too many guys go off the board.
To date, Jeurys Familia and Joe Kelly are the only two big free agent relievers to sign with other teams. Familia returned to New York to sign a three-year, $30 million deal with the Mets. The Yankees were never really interested in the talented, but inconsistent right hander.
Kelly obviously wasn’t an option given his history with the Yankees. He elected to get closer to home by signing a three-year pact with the Dodgers. The point here is that many of the Yankees top targets are still available in free agency.
The trick for Cashman will be acquiring the right combination at the right price. In this piece we’ll focus on five guys who could emerge as serious late-inning targets for the Yankees. Other guys will get consideration as long relievers, but this list is limited to high-leverage targets. We start with a big-time talent who could return to the Bronx to rehabilitate his value.
5. Andrew Miller
Bringing Miller back to the Bronx would be a serious gamble for the Yankees. He struggled mightily with injuries last year in Cleveland. In the end, he only managed to make 37 appearances for the Tribe with a pretty mediocre ERA of 4.24.
At 33-years-old, it’s possible that Miller will never be the same pitcher he was when New York dealt him to Cleveland back in 2016. His talent is tempting though. Miller still flashed dominant stuff on occasion last season.
The only way Cashman will bite on Miller is if he’s willing to accept a moderately priced, one-year offer. Chances are his market will be better than that, but it’s possible he could gamble on himself and return to the Bronx.