Heading into the season, some complained that the Yankees didn’t have any “proven veteran” in the bullpen beyond Mariano Rivera. Ben, Mike, and I always responded with the notion that spending money on experienced bullpen arms doesn’t necessarily translate into success. Just look at Paul Quantrill, Steve Karsay, and other failed Yankees experiments. In The Wall Street Journal, Dave Cameron looks at pitcher salary vs. performance, and concludes that there’s not a strong correlation. He cites three closers — Brian Fuentes, Kerry Wood, and Brad Lidge — who are making a ton of money but aren’t outperforming cheaper counterparts, like David Aardsma, J.P. Howell, and Brian Wilson.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to note just how poorly Juan Cruz is pitching. Mike talked about stealing him for just a fourth round pick over the winter, but Cashman did not pursue it. Then, when the Yankees bullpen was terrible in the first month and Cruz was pitching to a 1.67 ERA, people were up in arms. Cruz’s ERA has since ballooned to 6.17, and he’s walked 5.2 batters per nine. Anyone still mad at Cashman?