The Yankees have a lot of good young relief pitchers. They also have a strong core of experienced major league relief pitchers. At the end of last season, it seemed like we were headed toward a spring training battle royale to figure out who the Yankees would carry in the bullpen. As a minor league nut, I was excited.
It looks like the Yankees will please me and move into spring training with a lot of movable parts. The Yankee bullpen of seven right now looks like:
- Mariano Rivera
- Damaso Marte
- Brian Bruney
- Jose Veras
- Dan Giese
- Phil Coke
- Edwar Ramirez
The bottom four pitchers all could conceivably be replaced with pitchers from the minor leagues. Just on the outside appear to be:
- Marc Melancon
- David Robertson
- Jon Albaladejo
- Steven Jackson
- Humberto Sanchez
While some of these names are more implausible than others to start the season in the majors, they all certainly have a chance. Marc Melancon in particular has nothing left to learn a Triple-A, and could bump someone like Edwar Ramirez from the majors.
What does this mean? The Yankees have a clear surplus in relief pitching. They have the luxury of being able to trade a guy like Brian Bruney or Edwar Ramirez if they are confident in Melancon or Robertson or both at the beginning of spring training. They might even have a better bullpen when all is said and done after said trade.
Who would we trade for? Someone has to have a decent upgrade for Cody Ransom sitting around. We need a better bench than our farm system can currently provide. I’m willing to bet that the trade comes from the bullpen.