Scouting The Free Agent Market: Jason Grilli and Rafael Soriano

Girardi Talks: Robertson, Bullpen, A-Rod, Rotation, Didi, Offseason, More
2014 Winter Meetings Open Thread: Wednesday
(Presswire)
(Presswire)

With both Andrew Miller and David Robertson now off the board, the free agent reliever market is starting to heat up. Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek agreed to deals with the Astros earlier today, Sergio Romo is in talks with several teams, and I’m sure many more relievers are drawing interest right now as well. The Yankees don’t absolutely need another reliever, but there’s always room in the bullpen for another quality late-inning arm.

Two of the more, shall we say, veteran relievers on the market are right-hander Jason Grilli and ex-Yankee Rafael Soriano. New York is said to be at least “monitoring” both guys. Both Grilli and Soriano are on the wrong side of 35 — well, Soriano turns 35 next week, so close enough — whose best days are likely behind them, but are still good enough to be assets in relief. Plus they both figure to come on short-term contracts. Is either a fit for the Yankees? Let’s look.

Recent Performance

Because they are older relievers on the downside of their careers, I think we’re better off focusing on what Grilli and Soriano did this past season moreso than the last two or three seasons and especially what they did earlier this careers. I don’t think what Soriano did in his first stint in New York tells us a whole lot about what he’ll do in 2015, for instance. That was a long time ago in reliever years. So here’s what these two did during the 2014 season:

IP ERA FIP K% BB% GB% HR/FB% RHB wOBA LHB wOBA
Grilli 54.0 4.00 3.37 24.3% 8.9% 32.0% 6.5% 0.313 0.310
Soriano 62.0 3.19 3.08 23.4% 7.5% 31.6% 4.8% 0.297 0.273

Grilli had a pretty bad first half (3.95 ERA and 4.63 FIP) and a better second half (4.05 ERA and 2.08 FIP), at least when you look at things like strikeout and walk rates rather than runs allowed. Soriano was the opposite — he had a dynamite first half (0.97 ERA and 2.43 FIP) but a yucky  second half (6.48 ERA and 4.05 FIP). Both guys lost their closer’s jobs to ex-Yankees draft picks (Mark Melancon and Drew Storen) during the summer too.

Grilli and Soriano are very similar pitchers. They strike out an above-average number of hitters, walk about a league average number of hitters if not a tick more, and don’t get any ground balls. Instead of grounders they get a lot of weak pop-ups, which are actually preferable. Pop-ups are damn near automatic outs. A ridiculous 17.7% of Grilli’s fly balls last year were infield pops, and he’s consistently been over 14.0% infield pop-ups since resurfacing with the Pirates a few years ago. Soriano had a 7.7% infield pop-up rate in 2014 after sitting well over 12.0% from 2010-13.

Soriano’s decline in pop-up rate is not necessarily a sign of decline — he had a 12.0%+ pop-up rate from 2006-08, dipped down to 7.3% in 2009, then jumped right back up to 12.0%+ from 2010-13. It could just be one of those weird random baseball things. Like when Robinson Cano hit .271 in 2008 and .320 in 2009. Both Soriano and Grilli rely on pop-ups and strikeouts to get their outs, which is a really great strategy, though it is worth noting Grilli’s strikeout rate dropped quite a bit in 2014 while Soriano’s has been holding steady for a few years now:


Source: FanGraphsJason Grilli, Rafael Soriano

Grilli bounced around earlier of his career and didn’t turn into a stellar late-inning reliever until the 2011 season, when the Pirates gave him a shot. Since that 2011 season he’s been a strikeout machine, much moreso than Soriano. Even in 2014, in which Grilli’s strikeout rate dropped considerably, he still fanned more batters than Soriano. That said, it was still a significant drop. Grilli struck out 36.9% of batters faced in 2012, 36.6% in 2013, and 24.3% in 2014. Big drop.

Overall, Grilli and Soriano are very similar pitches who got different results this past season. Grilli’s declining strikeout rate is a red flag, moreso than Soriano’s drop in pop-up rate. They’ll both make you pull your hair out with walks from time to time too. Grilli was better than Soriano from 2012-13 (2.82 ERA and 2.42 FIP vs. 2.68 ERA and 3.48 FIP), but at his age I don’t think you can bank on 2012-13 Grilli coming back. The upside for both guys at this point of their careers is probably maintaining their 2014 performance in 2015 and not declining any. Obviously that seems more realistic for the soon-to-be 35-year-old Soriano than the 38-year-old Grilli.

Stuff Breakdown

Both Grilli and Soriano are fastball/slider guys, so this will be a pretty straight forward comparison. (Soriano threw a ton of cutters earlier in his career but has since scaled back on it big time.) Grilli’s fastball has consistently sat right around 93 mph since he returned to the show with Pittsburgh while Soriano’s has been gradually declining from 92.6 mph with the Yankees in 2012 to 91.5 mph with the Nationals in 2014. They both throw their sliders a lot, basically one-third of the time, and Soriano throws his in the mid-80s, a bit harder than Grilli’s low-80s offering.

Since they’re both fly ball pitchers, I’m not going to bother looking up the ground ball rates for their fastballs and sliders. Instead we’ll just focus on the swings and misses over the last few seasons:

Grilli FB Grilli SL Soriano FB Soriano SL
2012 14.9% 18.2% 10.9% 13.9%
2013 12.3% 20.9% 9.1% 13.7%
2014 10.3% 15.6% 13.6% 16.7%

The MLB average swing and miss rate for fastballs and sliders are approximately 6.9% and 15.2%, respectively. Grilli gets a ton of whiffs with both his fastball and slider, though they are trending in the wrong direction. Soriano has gotten an above-average amount of empty swings with his fastball but, up until the 2014 season, a below-average amount with his slider. Soriano’s swing and miss rates were better than Grilli’s in 2014 while Grilli’s were better than Soriano’s from 2012-13.

Given his age, it’s no real surprise Grilli wasn’t able to generate as many swings and misses this past season, and that’s a red flag. Chances are he’ll get even fewer swings and misses next season. Soriano’s whiff rates actually ticked upwards and that’s encouraging. Neither guy has a big platoon split — Soriano did last season but bounced back this season — so their fastballs and sliders work against batters on both sides of the plate. How much longer will that last?

Injury Histories

This is where it gets really ugly. Grilli had Tommy John surgery back in 2002 and missed the entire 2010 season with a torn quad. He missed two months with an elbow strain in 2003, three weeks with elbow inflammation in 2009, and six weeks with a flexor tendon strain in 2013. An oblique strain sidelined him for a month this past season. That’s a lot of elbow issues over the years. Grilli has thrown 50+ innings each year from 2012-14, the first and only other time he’s done that since 2006-08.

Soriano, meanwhile, just threw 50+ innings in three straight seasons for the first time in his career. He had Tommy John surgery way back in 2004 then needed another surgery to correct a nerve issue and remove a bone spur from his elbow in 2008, which caused him to miss most of the season. Soriano also missed three months with elbow inflammation while with the Yankees in 2011. His history of elbow problems is pretty severe, though aside from some shoulder fatigue and a concussion when he was hit by a comebacker, both back in 2006, he hasn’t had any other injury problems.

Both Grilli and Soriano have a long history of elbow problems and also of not staying healthy for extended periods of time. If they managed to throw 50+ innings in 2015, it’ll be the first time either guy throws that many innings in four straight seasons in their careers. Given their ages and injury histories, I’m not sure how reasonable it is to expect them to continue to stay on the field going forward. Not saying it can’t happen, just that there’s a risk factor.

Contract Estimates

Grilli has definitely reached the point in his career where he’ll have to go year to year to continue playing. No club is giving a just turned 38-year-old reliever multiple guaranteed years. Soriano, on the other hand, is still young enough and close enough to his best seasons that he might be able to secure a two-year pact. Here are some contract estimates:

  • FanGraphs Crowdsourcing: Two years, $14M for Soriano. (No results for Grilli.)
  • Jim Bowden (subs. req’d): Two years, $16M for Soriano. One year, $3.5M for Grilli.
  • Keith Law (subs. req’d): One year, $3M to $4M for Soriano. One year, $2M to $3M for Grilli.

KLaw seems to hate relievers, so I’m inclined to throw out his contract numbers for Soriano based on the other estimated. Based on FanGraphs and Bowden, Soriano’s looking at something like two years at $7.5M annually. Based on Bowden and Law, Grilli’s looking at a one-year deal at $3M or so. Those numbers make sense to me. Soriano’s deal would be similar to what the Padres gave Joaquin Benoit last year and Grilli’s deal would be in line with basically every late-career reliever contract in recent history.

Wrapping Up

At this point, with Robertson and Miller off the board, all remaining free agent relievers have some kind of red flag. Grilli’s strikeout rate fell a ton last year and Soriano had that brutal second half. Both guys also have a history of elbow problems. The Yankees know Soriano from his time in New York — that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easier to strike a deal, remember Brian Cashman very publicly said he didn’t want to sign him, so maybe Soriano holds a grudge or something — but Grilli would be coming in blind.

There is clearly a spot in the bullpen for another veteran late inning reliever, and both Soriano and Grilli could assume the closer’s job so Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller could remain in setup roles. I would prefer the Yankees to stick to a one-year contract so they could more easily cut bait at midseason if necessary, which would take them out of the running for Soriano. Of course, the team may feel differently and could be open to bringing Soriano back on a two-year contract. Both are qualified for the late innings and both are risky. Pick your poison.

Girardi Talks: Robertson, Bullpen, A-Rod, Rotation, Didi, Offseason, More
2014 Winter Meetings Open Thread: Wednesday
  • Dos Luises

    For me it comes down to budget. If they’re on an unlimited one right now, sure another reliever would be great. If they are in a zero sum operating budget scenario, I’d like to see them fill more pressing needs (Starters and 3B).

    • Havok9120

      Pretty much. Especially if we’re talking Soriano. His projected contracts aren’t costing peanuts.

    • Drew

      If they were on an unlimited budget then the move would have been to resign Robertson. There clearly is a payroll number in managements head. I would assume somewhere around 220 million.

    • Canarsie Yankee

      Indeed, though I’d take Grilli on a one-year flyer for $3 to $5 M. But the Yankees have also had success in cheap relievers, so paying $500K for one and putting the AAV elsewhere would likely be the best bet.

  • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

    … a yucky second …
    Yucky. That’s a technical term.
    I’d be fine if they took a shot at Grilli on a 1/$3M contract. Kinda like Viagra .. easy to swallow if he can’t perform.

  • YakaTanaka

    If they can get one at a real bargain price, sure. I’d bet some other team that actually needs a late inning RP will outbid them, though.

    I still think this idea that the Yankees should go get some mediocre RP to stick in the 9th inming is ridiculous, and Mike you still have not bothered to explain your reasoning.

    • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

      I think it goes back to Girardi and his desire to keep relievers in “roles”. By having a true “9th inning guy”, it allows him to use Betances & Miller in the perhaps more important 7th/8th inning fireman role. Or something like that.

      • YakaTanaka

        Yeah, I think that’s a crock of shit though. (Not attacking you, I know you’re just explaining it.)

        I haven’t seen anyone provide evidence that the besy guys as setup men and lesser guy as closer structure is preferable to the inverse, traditional structure. (Closers also aren’t restricted to only the 9th. And having a set closer would restrict your best RPs from important 9th inning work. Not to mention practical considerations of having to warm a guy up before inserting him mid-inning and dry humps eating into game IPs, and any psychological factors.)

        Maybe my comment was poorly worded, but I understand the logic. I just haven’t seen any analysis at all to support it, besides the hypothetical speculating of fans.

        • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

          I’m not sure using your best pitcher in the 9th is the best way to go. There are certainly high-leverage situations earlier in the game that may call for using your best pitcher. Betances fits that as we saw last year. Miller seems to as well. I have no evidence that this works better than having a lockdown 9th inning guy like Mo was, but it seems to make some sense in my mind.

          • YakaTanaka

            I’m saying that not using him in the 9th at all isn’t any better than, say, not using him in the 7th at all. (They also have two guys projected to be pretty similarly good, so whoever is not the closer would handle many of those earlier situations.)

            I think some degree of flexibility is good. I am arguing against reverse inflexibility where you still have a closer but he’s your 3rd, 4th, 5th best RP. Total flexibility is also pretty impractical, as you have to warm a guy up in advance of putting him in the game. So, while mid-7th inning someone may suddenly hit a double to make a one man on 1B one out casual situation a very high leverage two men in scoring position one out with a good hitter coming up situation… you can’t just suddenly stick your best RP in there to face the next guy or two if he wasn’t already warming up. Conversely, if you warm him up in the man on 1B one out situation and the next PA results in a lazy fly ball or a DP… You’ve just dry humped him. And then… even if you get your hest RP into the tight 7th inning situation A. he may only increase your odds marginally compared to your secod best RP and B. an even higher leverage situation may occur later in the game where you now can’t use your best RP. Matching best RP to highest leverage situation is more of theoretical thing than something you can do in realtime. Overall I haven’t had it explained to me yet (with supporting evidence) how the worse RP as closer and better RPs as setup men is materially better.

        • blake

          they aren’t restricted to the 9th but are often only used in the 9th…..look at the innings pitched last year for the Yankees……Robertson who was basically supposed to be their best reliever threw 64 innings…..Adam Warren threw 78 and Betances broke 100 I believe.

          I think it would be nice to have a guy that can close in lower leverage spots….Betances or Miller could close some too but I think the idea is to try and have your best guys throw the most important pitches and also have your best guys throw more innings while keeping them appropriately rested.

          • YakaTanaka

            The evidence you’re using does not support your point. DRob has always been a 1 inning RP who has never thrown materially more than 64 MLB IP in a season (never hit 67 in the regular season). His workload did not change at all in the closer role from what it had always been as a fireman then as a setup man. Warren and Betances were both stretched out as SPs. The Yankees said this all the time throughout the season when the press brought up overuse concerns.

            That is not the idea Mike has put forth or that Girardi’s comments imply he anticipates.

            • blake

              I don’t think there is a lot of evidence either way…. I think Girardi will want a set closer though….it’s just how he operates so I’m guessing if they did sign one of these 2nd tier guys then it’ll just be a depth 6th/7th inning role that they pitch in….Betances or Miller will probably be the “the closer”

              • YakaTanaka

                I don’t think so either, which is why I question a lot of people’s insitence that it’s better to have a mediocre closer so the other two don’t pitch in the 9th.

                My reference to evidence, though, was specific to your use of DRob, Warren, and Dellin as evidence that the closer role inherently involves throwing fewer innings.

    • Hankflorida

      It seems to me that Betances goes into the closer role and Miller takes his spot, and then you have Warren for the 7th. Do not see these guys as an option to close.

      • YakaTanaka

        I agree that’s what would probably happen.

        Until they add another SP (or two?), though, I do think there’s a pretty good chance Warren wins a rotation spot. May or may not. Just pointing that possibility out.

  • dalelama

    Neither will make a significant difference. Face we blew it when we let DRob walk, one of the few quality players from last year’s squad. Management sure isn’t making it easier to watch this team. Good luck DRob hate to see you go.

    • captainmike

      robertson can go jump in a lake I ain’t paying him $50 million

      • dalelama

        Enjoy the mediocrity then.

  • Chip

    If you can get a cheap veteran sure – why not.

    If not, I’m fine heading into the season with:

    RHP: Betances, Kelley, Rogers, Phelps/Warren
    LHP: Wilson, Miller, Lindgren

    While allowing for the possibility of someone like Burawa, Ramirez, Pinder, Bailey, Claiborne or someone taken in the Rule 5 draft winning a spot.

    • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

      Depth is better than the lack of it, so I’d prefer they take a shot at someone like Grilli on a cheap contract. However if the $3M or so that they’d spend on someone like him precludes them from signing someone like Headley or McCarthy, then I agree, go with what they have now.

    • dkidd

      rothchild tinkers with ramirez in spring training and presto: league minimum closer

      • Scott

        I keep forgetting about him. If healthy, he could be very good in the pen. Maybe not as a closer but a 7/8th inning guy.

      • Chip

        He doesn’t really have to do much tinkering…Ramirez just has to be healthy. His fastball/change combo drew comparisons to Fernando Rodney.

        • dkidd

          i meant tinkering with his bow and arrow finish

        • YakaTanaka

          His control does need tinkering. 6+ BB/9 in over 50 IP above AA. It’s not just a health thing, though health is an important factor for him.

    • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

      Surprises me that so many people think Lindgren is going to make the team out of spring training. a. He’s pitched 11 innings at AA, and b. unlikely they will go with three lefthanders in the bullpen. Since one of the seven bullpen pitchers will be a long man, that would be half of the short relievers. this is crazy, as your lefty-righty mix ideally should mirror the LH-RH mix of hitters in the league.

      • Chip

        All fair points however…

        1) College relievers move quickly (as Robertson did)
        2) I think they’ll take the best pitchers they have regardless of what hand they throw with
        3) If Lindgren earns it, he’ll get a spot on the 40

      • Scott

        While I agree with your “b” point, many experts said he would most likely be the player drafted in 2014 that would get to the majors first. he was a college pitcher and had the most advanced stuff for his position. It didn’t turn out that way because the Yanks playoff push wasn’t as good as they hoped. But there was real talk of him making it to the majors last year.

      • YakaTanaka

        I doubt he makes the team out of ST as well, but handedness is basically irrelevant when a P is equally effective against both sides. Wilson and Miller both are.

      • Glenn Taglieri

        Lindgren is much more that a LOOGY.

        • http://batman-news.com Thunderfingers

          Lindgren, at this point, is an unproven minor leaguer. He may develop into much more than a LOOGY at the MLB level, but right now, he’s simply another prospect that may break our hearts.

          • Glenn Taglieri

            You could have said the same thing about David Robertson another college reliever who blew thru the minor league system. I’d rather take my chance with Lindgren then spend money on Grilli.

      • RetroRob

        When he was drafted, the general consensus in the scouting community it he would be the first from the 2014 draft to make the majors. He’s viewed MLB ready now. I can understand why the Yankees didn’t bring him up last year after his heavy workload, but it would be surprising if he doesn’t get added fairly early on in 2015. No sense wasting his pitches in the minors considering how short-lived the careers of many relievers are. He does need to show he belongs. His handiness won’t hold him back if there are two other lefties already in the pen.

  • captainmike

    $7 to $8 million a year for soriano is crazy

    • Havok9120

      Not for teams in desperate need of bullpen help, perhaps.

      In our case, however, I agree.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      1/8 is crazy? I’d do it.

  • Centaur Hips

    Considering miller was dominant and just got 9, I would say soriano is worth about 6 or 7, which is close to what neshek just got. Grilli might get a bit less

  • Rick

    Mike I take it by not having referenced Romo that you’d prefer either of the above to him?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I was actually planning a future post with Romo and Gregerson, but Gregerson signed. Might do Romo and Casey Janssen now instead.

      • Rick

        Welp, there ya go then. BTW – Congrats on the BBWA recognition.

  • Bobby d

    Save the money on relievers we desperately need starting pitching! We have lost Greene, McCarthy, Kuroda and Cappuano who were at one time all in the rotation due to injuries. Jacob Lindgren has been lights out in the minors and with the way Girardi handles the bullpen I’m sure the yanks will be fine with what they have.

    • Captain Obvious

      Save what money? They are doing more than fine with profits. Money ain’t the issue.

      • YakaTanaka

        Says the guy with no visibility to their financial statements…

        • Captain Obvious

          Says the guy with his head buried firmly in the sand.

          • NYCHawk

            From a PR perspective, I don’t think the Yankees should ever drop the word budget. Especially with the shameless moat section. Sign Headley and bring in two quality starters as well as another arm for the pen. You have the f-ing resources. If Hal & co are strictly in this for the business , I really wish they would sell.

            • Captain Obvious

              I’d just prefer they live up to the Steinbrenner name without the drama. A cool, calculating Hal as owner willing to spend whatever it takes to win would be fantastic. They’ve been losing more money by missing the playoffs than they’ve gained by being cheap.

              Bad baseball and bad business.

              • Giuseppe Franco

                I personally don’t think spending has been their downfall.

                I think it’s bad decision-making and the lack of productive youngsters from the developmental side.

                • Captain Obvious

                  If they were spending like they were ten years ago, and keeping up with inflation, another $50M covers alot of mistakes.

      • Bobby d

        Unfortunately money is an issue. Hal has given cashman a budget.

        • Captain Obvious

          That’s a made up issue and completely arbitrary. It’s like saying the Traveling Secretary thinks they should wear cotton uniforms.

          Actually there cotton is more breathable.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Everyone has a budget. Just stop.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I don’t necessarily disagree. I’m fine with adding someone else who can pitch high-leverage innings, but I’m fine rolling with the two-headed monstah right now to end games.

  • Captain Obvious

    My problem with going this route is what happens when they hit a rough patch? Won’t the Yankees be very tempted to mess with Miller and Betances? In that case, it will have defeated the purpose. Or will they be disciplined to leave those two alone and rotate Kelley and Warren into the closer “role”.

    DRob would have been perfect. Failing that, go get Papelbon [gulp].

    • YakaTanaka

      Advocating that they sign a top 15 RP for 4/46 because their two top 10 RPs might be forced to change roles as the season goes on is about as spoiled Yankees fan living in a video game world as it gets.

      • Captain Obvious

        As usual, you have your logic all backwards. You are reading what you want to, not what I’m writing.

      • Centaur Hips

        Let’s not feed the troll. He’ll get bored and bitch elsewhere.

    • Chip

      Papelbon? Seriously? Guy – just let Dellin Betances close and leave it at that. This is not the disaster you’re spinning it into.

      • Captain Obvious

        Moving Betances into a closer role is a waste of his abilities. He can toss 90-100 innings and be very valuable doing so, limiting him to save opps is foolish.

        • captainmike

          he could do a lot of 2 inning saves

          • Captain Obvious

            That’s not the way closers are used i.e., he’s out for the follow game.

      • Captain Obvious

        Put another way – Betances was their most valuable pitcher last year, starters included. And you want him pitching less?

        • Chip

          No, but you whine about every option that’s not David Robertson despite the fact that this will clearly be fine.

          • Captain Obvious

            Nice strawman of your own creation.

            Having two potentially very valuable relievers as closers or co-closers is a waste of their potential. The alternatives are much worse than Robertson.

            • Chip

              SMH….

              Or they do what most baseball insiders believe is the right thing for the future of the game anyway and that’s eliminate the traditional closer role entirely and go by matchups…

              if they’re facing the Red Sox and Ortiz is up in the 9th – Miller comes in. If they’re facing Toronto and Joey Bats is up in the 9th – Betances starts that inning.

              Either way, the notion that all is lost because the Yankees don’t have an experienced closer on the team is silly.

              • Captain Obvious

                And ignore what relievers say works best? Clearly defined roles? Should be fun to watch!

                Meanwhile, the lemmings here will be crowing about the need for an established closer, Who should it be. Yadda yadda yadda.

              • Giuseppe Franco

                That’s a strawman argument. It has nothing to do with not having an “experienced closer.”

                It’s about letting your best option walk and not take the opportunity to really strengthen that pen even further given they have so many question marks regarding their rotation.

                • Chip

                  Again, I think the Yankees made the determination that Robertson’s best days are behind him and that they would rather have Miller, a high 20/low 30 pick (depending on other FA signings) and spend $2 mil less per year.

        • Chip

          if it makes you feel better – Jerry Crasnick says that the Yankees are in on Sergio Romo.

          • Captain Obvious

            Better that than Betances or Miller as a closer. Still, his homer tendencies are very scary.

            The best option was DRob.

            • Chip

              Not for $46 million it wasn’t.

              • Captain Obvious

                Why do you care how much they spend? Are they giving you discounts on parking or hot dogs?

                DRob will be worth every penny of $46M. The same cannot be easily said of Miller at $36M.

                • Chip

                  You seem pretty certain of that. No point continuing to argue with that kind of inflexibility.

                  • Captain Obvious

                    They were spending the same on payroll ten years ago – without a TV network, in an old stadium, and with less revenues across the game.

                    Sometimes certainty is there if one chooses to look. Many here choose not to. I don’t get it, but being a fan often means being irrational.

                • captainmike

                  he lost 5 games last year

                • NYCORNERSTONE

                  Forget about him hes gone

            • captainmike

              DRob can go jump in a lake

              • Captain Obvious

                You first

          • Captain Obvious

            Since people here seem to love overinterpreting trendlines for relievers, Romo’s last four years are very scary.

        • Giuseppe Franco

          Yeah, I think Girardi makes Miller the closer and Betances his 2-inning monster again (the majority of his appearances, anyway).

          Making your most dominant reliever pitch just one inning seems to be kinda dumb given his enormous value last season pitching multiple innings.

          • Captain Obvious

            Exactly my point. If both Miller and Betances throw 90-100 innings and like 2014, that’s like having Felix Hernandez on the team.

            Neither should be a closer.

  • RetroRob

    Unless he changed agents, Soriano is still a Boras guy. He’ll be pushing for a two year deal. Isn’t K-Rod a free agent also? Not recommending him since he’ll also require a multi-year and expensive deal, but I haven’t heard him mentioned, so I’m wondering if I’m wrong. Romo will also probably get at least a two year deal. I wonder if Casey Janssen might be the best chance at a one year value deal. I’m not sure what happened to him the second half of last year, but he went from being real good for a few seasons to real bad. I think he had food poisoning, lost a lot of weight, and never quite recovered until September. If so, he might be a place to find some hidden value on a short deal.

    As for Law, he hates relievers so much he probably would prefer to sign them to month-to-month contracts. Joke aside, I understand his position, but it’s so far off from market realities that it makes it difficult to read his assessments on relievers.

    • Canarsie Yankee

      One year deal, let him get some sexy save numbers, then turn him loose on the market next year. Worth a shot.

  • LarryM Fl

    My suggestion is to forget Headley to expensive for his offensive production, Grilli and Soriano. We have the money for an elite starter. Use the money for a knockout starter whether through FA or trade route. I can live with Prado, Diddi, Rysnyder, and Teix. as our infield. Ryan and Arod as backups. Bolster the SR , we have many decent pitchers in aaa who can pitch in the bullpen. Another Shawn Greene maybe waiting in the wings. The OF looks good. The team last year won 85 games with no hitting and 4 starters on the DL.

    • Captain Obvious

      Headley is actually underpriced, even at 15M AAV and especially in YS.

      • captainmike

        one twist of the back and poof, there goes $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

        his herniated disk could explode at any time on a play

        • Captain Obvious

          Are you a doctor? Have you seen his medical records?

          Didn’t stop him from OPSing .800 in Yankee Stadium.

        • Oops I Crapped My Pants

          I like Headley a lot but I would rather see the Yanks spend that money on starting pitching. Same with adding to the pen. We have more than enough good young arms to fill one possibly two spots in the pen. Save the money and get starting pitching.

        • Jimmy

          Hello $20 garlic fries…..

    • YakaTanaka

      Headley is projected by Steamer to be a top 30 player in MLB next season, and is an above average hitting IF who might cost $12-16 million annually… I have a really hard time understanding why you think he’s too expensive for his production.

      • LarryM Fl

        Yaka, I guess I do not agree with good production definition. I would rather use the money on quality starters ie. Sherzer if the Yanks are limiting their exposure to cost and years.

        Would I prefer Headley at third of course with Prado filling in all over the place. This would be perfect but I get the idea the Yanks are being cautious.

        • YakaTanaka

          I don’t think Prado would fill in all over the place. I think he would start at 2B. He’s a league average starting player. He plays multiple positions because he’s good enough to, not because he’s not good enough to start. His role might change as the season goes on and other players’ roles evolve, but I think he’d begin as the everyday 2B.

          Headley is projected by Steamer for 3.9 WAR is 2015 by Steamer and has averaged 4 fWAR the last two years. Scherzer is projected for 4 fWAR is 2015 by Steamer and has averaged 6 fWAR the last two years. It’s tough to argue that a team worried about money should give Scherzer $170-200 million instead of Headley $50-70 million. (Not that I think the Yankees are particularly worried about money compared to anyone else.)

          And if they’re being cautious… They’re not going to sign Scherzer. That would be completely throwing caution to the wind.

  • Robert

    Rather run thru all the Minor League Relief Arms we have than spend money here.

  • Bubba

    Can I have a hell no on Soriano please? Grilli may be worth it on a one year $3.5MM.

  • mattpat11

    *if* Soriano did hold a grudge after Cashman went out of his way to humiliate him (at his opening press conference, no less) would you blame him? That’s still might be the low point of Cashman’s tenure.

    That being said, I’d rather spend whatever money we have left on starters than over the hill relievers.

    • Captain Obvious

      One of the few times I loved the open dissension.

  • NYCORNERSTONE

    Whats this new post untuck time is here again um NO

  • OneTrueTruth

    I want Kimbrel, Holland, and Cishek!

    If we don’t get those three… #CASHMANFAILED!

  • YankeeFan™

    Get me romo just because of his last name in English it means rum lol.

  • Monterocouldstillbedinero

    Let’s just get 9 relievers and pitch them one inning a game…every game. Hopefully not 8 innings.

    Brave new world.

  • SweetSpot

    I don’t think the Yankees need another relief pitcher and I really don’t care who they add, if anyone at all.

    • NYCORNERSTONE

      Agree they’ll be fine

    • Centaur Hips

      Agree.

  • rogue

    I’d rather give Tyler Webb a shot.

  • rogue

    Shawn Kelly.

  • dave_8

    I think they need to keep Warren in the pen. And I think he’ll be better than he was last year.
    Of course none of this is done in a linear fashion but the rotation is thing now.

  • NYCORNERSTONE

    Rollins a dodger

  • anthonypaulb23@gmail.com

    Why do we need any of them I am sure well do fine with what we got Go get some starters and hitters..lets go