Lefty reliever on the agenda, but not a priority

Bench will wait as Yanks focus on pitching
Winter Meetings Day Two Chat
Gonna have to wait a bit, Mike. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The Yankees have wasted more money on left-handed relievers over the last few years than I care to count, most due to injury (Damaso Marte, Pedro Feliciano) but some also due to ineffectiveness (Kei Igawa, Mike Myers). Boone Logan was essentially thrown into the (second) ill-fated Javy Vazquez trade, but he’s emerged as the team’s best southpaw reliever since Mike Stanton’s first go-around in the Bronx. The team obviously values a quality lefty bullpen arm, which Brian Cashman readily acknowledged yesterday. It’s just not a top priority at the moment.

“I would like to get another lefty, but I don’t think any of you here should focus on how I’m going to do that, because I don’t anticipate that whatsoever,” said Cashman to reporters following his arrival at the Winter Meetings. “Is it on the wish list? It is. If anybody tells you that we’re focused on any left-handed reliever, they’re lying.”

The Yankees have already inked Mike O’Connor — who has crushed left-handed batters in Triple-A — to a minor league contract. We know they have some level of interest in Mike Gonzalez, who comes with the added benefit of being a very close personal friend of Rafael Soriano‘s. The hard-throwing Matt Thornton is on the market, but he’s rather expensive and there’s almost no doubt the White Sox have already gotten the best years of his career. The rest of the lefty specialist free agent market is generally unappealing.

Cashman made it clear that improving the starting rotation is at the very top of their wish list, but he’s also made it clear they value a lefty reliever. It’s good to see them putting it on the back burner though, lefty specialists are just too difficult to predict. It comes with the territory of making your living by going from one small sample to the next. Logan is far from perfect but generally solid, and it helps that the Yankees can rely on David Robertson, Soriano, and a when-healthy Joba Chamberlain to get left-handers out in the late innings as well.

Bench will wait as Yanks focus on pitching
Winter Meetings Day Two Chat
  • ChooChoo

    Igawa was signed and projected as a starter

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I know, but they tried him in relief and he couldn’t even do that.

      • ChooChoo

        Igawa’s career as a Yankee consisted of 16 appearances over a course of two years. He relieved a total of three times. A cumulative record of his three relief appearances reveals a total of 7 and 1/3 innings pitched, no earned runs allowed, incuding a 6 inning stint against Boston where he was credited with the victory, having relieved Jeff Karstens after he had faced only two batters. igawa allowed 2 hits and walked 4 in this outing.

        • Plank

          Yup, Igawa was really, really bad.

  • FachoinaNYY

    Off topic, but I am thinking about finally breaking down and joining twitter.

    Who would everyone recommend to follow (Baseball-wise or other). I saw Heyman seems to have a decent feed, anyone have any thoughts?


    Also what does everyone think of the 10-year contract from the Marlins to Pujols? Pretty crazy, though I think the AAV will probably be on the low side (relatively, obviously) and also there is talk that there is no no-trade clause. Interesting to say the least. I personally would love to see him sign there as it would be one hell of an interesting story. Would give the 09 Yankees spending spree a run of its money, thats for sure.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    the small market Marlins sign everyone. Everybody would go crazy if the Yanks do that :D

    tbh I’d like to see Pujols signing with the Marlins but I really can’t see that happening. That would just be too good to be real.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I think you mean the 08 Yankees and the Marlins fall short by more than 100M with Pujols and Reyes only.

  • jack knife

    romanski is the answer to the second lefty His two year numbers are good he was a fourth rounder, Team USA, A college all american, and loves the Yankees. Give him a chance for 400 k instead of wasted 4 million on some 30 plus guy

  • Gonzo

    Anyone else getting LOOGY fatigue?

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    To be honest, if the Yankees don’t add a second lefty I won’t lose any sleep whatsoever. In fact, I may even sleep better thinking that we don’t have to depend on another lefty who sucks or could get injured.

  • 28 this year

    Hopefully Darvish is posted soon although with the patience the Yankees have shown, having him post later would give the Yankees a better shot if other big bidding teams decide to move to Plan B. I just want something to happen.

  • JohnC

    Still think in the end Pujols goes back to St. Louis. If Cards come close to Marlins offer, I say he stays. Marlins then would go after Fielder