Heyman: Yankees will not look to add a reliever via trade


Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees will not aggressively look to add a reliever via trade following Mariano Rivera‘s torn ACL. This isn’t terribly surprising, the team seems to have more than enough faith in Rafael Soriano and David Robertson in the late innings. Cory Wade doesn’t fit the profile of a late-game reliever, but he’s done nothing but get outs since joining the organization.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Yankees added another bullpen arm before the trade deadline, but the current regime isn’t one to rush into things. I will be interested to see how the last spot sorts itself out; does Cody Eppley get the job long-term, or will we see guy like Kevin Whelan or Chase Whitley get cracks at it? Given how they’ve treated the bullpen over the last few years, I’m sure the Yankees will keep running through internal options until they find the right mix. They’ve built some dynamite bullpens that way in recent years, and there’s no shortage of arms in the system.

Categories : Asides, Trade Deadline
  • Dummies Playing With Balls (formerly Rainbow Connection)

    I’m so tired of Heyman lying, just so the Yankees can be used to drive up the price of Boars clients.

    Wait. Wut??

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I think signing an actual boar will really put some fear in the hearts of the opposition, as well as added plus of mauling Josh Beckett.

      • Gonzo

        I thought Beckett was getting injured fine all by himself. We should save the boars for David Price.

        • G

          What’s wrong with Price? A bit unfair to compare him to Beckett.

          • jjyank

            He’s making a joke. Beckett is injury prone already, we don’t need boars to maul him for him to go on the DL. Rather, we should save said boars to maul another ace-like pitcher in the division. Sometimes jokes can be hard to pick up on over the internet, but I thought that one was fairly obvious.

            • Gonzo


  • jjyank

    Not surprising, but still good news. I was reading through the MLBTR post about how the Yankees should replace Mo, and even fans of other teams were saying “why bother, Robertson is one of the best relievers in baseball anyway”. D-Rob and Soriano are perfectly capable of filling the set-up man/closer roles between the two of them. Wade can handle the 7th. The rest is filled out pretty easily.

    As for the last spot long term, I would love to get a longer look at Whelan. He’s pitching pretty well, though he does have 7 walks in 13 IP, though he has 21 strikeouts (2.46 FIP). Still though, he’s 28 now, it’s probably time to see what he’s got for a longer period of time. Whitley is interesting too, 15.2 IP, 4 walks and 12 strikeouts (2.31 FIP). My vote is for one of those two.

    • Tom

      The only issue is when you start getting into back to back usage and start running into 3 days in a row. With So/Ro/Mo you could shift people around (Soriano to the 8th or Robertson to the 9th) when people needed rest. Now you are talking about Wade in the 8th (or even 9th) or guys like Logan getting key innings. Not a huge issue but if starters are regularly going 6IP, it is an issue.

      I would also like to wee a guy like Whelan get a shot… the bullpen after next year is Robertson (and Wade?). If they are serious about 2014, they need cheap arms to start filling some of those roles. I would like to see a young arm put in the role Robertson was in early on (the “6th inning guy”/guy who pitches when trailing but the game is not out of hand) and see if that arm flourishes into a late inning reliever down the line. To me this is a better long term investment than a 2nd LOOGY

      • Tom

        *see a guy like Whelan*

      • jjyank

        Don’t forget the Yankees also have Aardsma coming back at some point this year, and you’re forgetting both him and Joba for 2013. As far as predicting future bullpen construction…that’s a waste of time I think. Relievers, and pitching in general, are so volatile. In the next couple of years it’s likely that someone has an off year that we buy on the cheap and he rebounds, or we get a guy off the scrap heap that flourishes (like Wade), or someone in our system takes a step forward (like Whelan, Whitley, Montgomery) or a starting pitching prospect gets put in the bullpen (Betances comes to mind as a possibility).

        I’m not worried about the future. Even without Mo, the Yankee bullpen is still better than a lot of them out there. I’m looking at you, Red Sox. I just don’t want to go out an overpay (in prospects) for a guy like Balfour.

      • Ted Nelson

        I have no problem giving Whelan a shot, but there are a lot of arms in the system that can fill in the BP by 2014. Any of the Hughes, Pineda, Phelps, Mitchell, Warren, Banuelos, Betances, Marshall group who fail as starters but show enough to relieve could be in there. Relievers in the low minors can progress quickly as well. Montgomery should be in AA later this season and might debut in 2013 if he keeps cruising. Yankees don’t seem to have much faith Whelan’s stuff will translate to MLB, they’ve given a lot of marginal arms chances in the ‘pen before him.

        In 2013 they still have Soriano and Mo has made it clear he’s coming back and Joba should be back. BP should be stacked.

        • jjyank

          Right, this is the point I was trying to make. I don’t recall Robertson being a huge prospect (a good relief prospect, but not exactly blue chip) and now here he is, arguable one of the most dominant relievers in the game over the last year+. Bullpen arms often come from unexpected places, so worrying about the 2014 pen won’t get you anywhere.

          • Tom

            My comment was after next season (when 5 of the top 7 arms all can leave)

            As you say even Robertson needed some time in the bigs… You can’t expect to plug any of those guys into a late inning role on opening day in 2014 having no experience whatsoever.

            My point is one or two of these young guys need some time to develop and ideally it is either this year or next before 5-6 arms potentially leave the pen all at the same time after 2013 (Mo,Joba, Soriano, Hughes, Logan and if you want to throw Aardsman in as well)

            I know the pen has been a strength and is something Cahsman has done well at (save for the LOOGY’s) but there is a major turnover coming which means spending money (which impacts the position player decisions) or rolling the dice on multiple minor league arms coming through.

            • jjyank

              My point is that relievers are probably the most volatile player in baseball. Guys like Wade, who have become an integral part of the pen, have come out of nowhere. Prospects step up that we don’t expect, scrap heap signings step up when we don’t expect, and failed starting prospects step up that we might not expect right now. Of all the issues for the future Yankee teams, but bullpen is the last of them for me.

  • Gonzo

    This is interesting because Scott Boras doesn’t have that many RP’s available in a trade… or does he?

  • Robinson Tilapia

    No need for another bullpen arm. I assume the 8th and 9th are in good hands in the interim. There are good arms recovering from injury, still some arms in the rotation who will find themselves in the bullpen soon enough, and good options in the minors. Much more productive ways for the organization to spend its brain power than on the no-Mo bullpen.

    • jjyank

      Yup, agreed. A lot of people seem to be forgetting about Aardsma. He could provide a late-season boost (like a trade deadline acquisition would) and we have him for 2013 as well.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, if Pettitte makes it to the rotation that alone will help the ‘pen. Relievers are usually pretty readily available at the deadline, though, so I could definitely see them adding an arm cheap at some point.

      • jjyank

        On the cheap is fine. As long as they don’t start overpaying for another team’s “proven closer”, I’m cool with it. Cash seems to be pretty good with the scrap heap signings, so maybe he can pull another Wade out of his hat.

  • Elliot F

    What is David Aardsmas time table for return from injury?

    • Gonzo

      I think August.

    • Havok9120

      July/August was what we were told when we got him and no one has said differently since then. *shrug*

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    IMHO internal fixes are fine. If Mo could impart his accuracy to D-Rob all would be A-OK. The question that I have, can Robertson be able to throw back to back days when he expends about 20+ pitches per inning at times?

    • Kosmo

      Robertson´s BB totals are down from last year and his K totals are up. He´s walked only 3 batters in 12 innings which projected over a full year to be about half his BB totals from last year. Of course it´s a SSS.

      • jjyank

        I’ve noticed better control too. Like you said, SSS, but D-Rob seems like he’s been hitting his spots more consistently recently. He’s still young, you never know. He would be an absolute monster if he could keep the BB/9 under 4.

  • Knoxvillain

    This is getting a little bit too much. People arguing over the 8th and 9th, who we should trade for/call up/demote to the pen, etc.

    Robertson to the 9th. Soriano to the 8th. Wade to the 7th. All the other guys will be just fine. When Pettitte comes back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hughes in the 7th since I doubt he will cut it as a starter.

    Losing Mo sucks, but it’s not the end of the world with the bullpen we have. Just be happy we don’t have Torre as our manager at a time like this.

    • Havok9120

      No freaking kidding. Thinking about Torre managing a Yankees pen during his tenure without Mo for a season makes my brain bleed.

  • BK2ATL

    Aardsma and Joba. Boom. Trade deadline additions.

    • jjyank

      I appreciate the optimism, but Joba will not be back by the trade deadline. I’d be surprised if he made it back at all. I’m pulling for him, for sure, but I’m going to take the cautious route on that one.

      • Havok9120

        I know HE’LL be ready for him to pitch by August at the latest, barring another major setback. He’ll force the issue and make sure his arm and body are physically able. I just don’t think it’d be wise to pitch him once he’s “able.” I’ll be surprised if he isn’t pitching for the MLB club in September, at least in Garbage Time.

  • G

    Hughes to the pen. It’s that simple. I don’t think there’s anyone on here who disagrees with me. Unfortunately, I’m guessing they’ll have Pettitte replace Phelps and just keep praying for Hughes to figure it out.

    Sooner or later he’ll have to be in the pen, and assuming their recoveries are relatively fast, Joba and Aardsma will return. Aardsma, Joba, Hughes, Soriano, and Robertson. The bullpen will be just fine.

  • Cy Pettitte

    If Andy comes back and is solid and Phil goes to the pen I think he could probably sit 95-96 for an inning or two and be effective. DRob, Soriano, Wade, Phil handling the late innings is still a very good bullpen, probably one of the best in the league. If Aardsma can come back in August and be effective too then I definitely have no problem with them not making a trade.

  • G

    And when Mo comes back next year, we’ll have Joba, Aardsma, Hughes, Soriano (he’s not opting out people, cut the false hope), Robertson, and Mo. Lock down the 4th inning!

    • Strat

      Right. Who cares about the rotation next year? Freddy could start with that pen if all goes well. Kinda funny in a way.

    • CS Yankee

      They could just have 12 pitchers throw an inning every day and never worry about developing starters.

      • jjyank

        I actually read a very interesting article in the Star Ledger advocating just that. It was written by a mathematician who did a study and found that a game entirely pitched by a bullpen, where every pitcher was specialized, would be most effective. He admitted it would never happen and the rosters would likely need to be expanded from 25 to make it work though. Not saying I agree necessarily, but it’s fun to think about.

    • LiterallyFigurative

      Don’t forget Boone Logan.

      1 Man Bench!

      • Strat


  • viridiana

    And you have to have someone fill the Amaury Sanit Bullpen Chair– ideally a Cash dumpster-dive special who has never had much success but is favored over internal options because…well.. he’s an external option. Seat currently occupied by Prof. Eppler.

    • Steve (different one)

      Considering the quality of the bullpens they’ve assembled over the last 3 years, what exactly are you complaining about?

    • Havok9120


      We’ve had one of or the best bullpen in the league each of the last, what, 3 seasons? This one promises to be another such year. What’s the problem?

  • viridiana

    Prof. Eppley, that is.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    I’d rather go with an internal option. I’d hate to waste as asset acquiring some stop gap middle reliever.

    Besides, I have no confidence that Cashman could acquire anyone capable of contributing anyway. They’d probably blow out their arm warming up in the pen.

    /Bitter Yankee fan.

    • Steve (different one)

      Yeah, Kerry Wood was a terrible pickup.

    • Havok9120

      Lord, you ARE bitter. And about something we’ve been good at for years too.

  • Tyrone Sharpton

    why would they, if arthur rhodes is available? we need a third LOOGY

  • Brian S.

    Joba and Aardsma will be back around August right?

    • jjyank

      Aardsma yes, Joba…big maybe. Anything he gives the 2012 team is just icing.

  • Alkaline

    Somewhere, Mitre weeps.

  • RetroRob

    One thing the Girardi/Cashman team has been strong at is building bullpens on the fly since Girardi took over. With arms like Phelps, Mitchell, Warren and Hughes, as well as a number of bullpen arms to call on, they will fill the role.

    • Havok9120

      Girardi is great at using what he’s given for the ‘pen, and Cash and the org’s scouts have proven very, very good at finding random guys with upside to give him. Its been a great run with the pen with them in charge, regardless of what we all may think about how they’ve managed other areas.

  • Jason

    The Yankees have pitching depth. Phil Hughes will be in the penn by mid June. One of the kids will be the 5 th starter and probably do better. The Yankees will be fine until October. In terms of World Series, loosing Pineada might have been worse.

    • jjyank

      “Loosing Pineda”

      That sounds dirty somehow.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    The one thing i’m not particularly worried about with this team is bullpen depth.

    They have about a dozen arms in the minors who could get a look before the end of the year.

    They have Aardsma due back in August, and even Joba is not out of the question before the end of this season.

    They have Hughes who I think will be in the pen by the end of the month and should be a pretty capable reliever.

    I think there’s a lot riding on Soriano, he’s got the track record of an elite reliever but he’s been inconsistent since signing here. If he pitches like he’s capable of, I still think this is one of the better pens in baseball.

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    i think the time has come for cashman and the high command to think about trading teixeira and arod.if the yankees eat half of each contract i believe a team will about teixeira to washington for tyler clippard and michael morse.then put swisher at 1b.arod to detroit for victor you have swisher at 1b,cano at 2b,jeter at ss,nunez at 3b,martin at c,gardner at lf,granderson at cf,morse at rf and martinez at dh