The New York Yankees are a baseball team filled with history, they have won 18 division titles, 40 AL pennants, and 27 World Series championships. This team could be on their way to making history yet again, and it starts with their bullpen. The Yankees have taken several steps to improve their offense this offseason, however there has been little attention directed towards the improvements the Yankees have made, and need to make, with their relievers.
In 2013, the Yankees lost legendary Mariano Rivera to retirement. Since Rivera’s retirement, the team has been searching for his replacement. There has been a variety of relievers to rise to the call, such as David Robertson, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman. During the 2016 campaign, Chapman was acquired by the Chicago Cubs for the remainder of the season, which led to a World Series championship. The 6-foot-4 gunslinger, was reclaimed in the offseason and currently resides as the Yankees’ closer. Chapman is notoriously known for his ability to throw a pitch over 100 mph, resulting in a countless number of strikeouts. Although he is no Rivera, the Yankees are optimistic that Chapman will provide an intimidating presence at the end of the game.
Robertson had a dominant last season, registering 98 strikeouts with a 1.84 ERA across 61 games. In 2008, Robertson began his impressive career with the Yankees, after six years he briefly left to play for the Chicago White Sox, but made his reappearance to New York last season. The 32-year-old right-handed pitcher is playing at his maximum potential during the prime of his life. During last year’s AL Wild Card Game, he helped the Yankees clinch a playoff spot by not allowing a run over 3.1 innings. Robertson’s contract expires after next season, therefore he will perform at a very high level to remain marketable for when he enters free agency. If Robertson continues to post excellent numbers, the Yankees could end up offering him a long-term deal.
Last season, the Yankees finished third in ERA among all MLB teams with only Cleveland and in-division rival Boston, finishing with a lower ERA. There were many relievers that contributed to this impressive ranking, but Chad Green was one of the best performers. Green finished the 2017 season with a 1.83 ERA and 103 strikeouts. He also played a vital role in the AL Wild Card Game, relieving Luis Severino after three runs had been scored. Green managed to shut-down that inning with two strikeouts and continued to pitch a scoreless inning subsequently. Some other notable returners include, Tommy Kahnle and Dellin Betances, who will provide additional support to the team. The Yankees will look to make improvements on the defensive end in the months to come. If New York is successful in their search, then they could potentially add another piece of hardware to their showroom.