Will There Actually Be a Spring Training Battle For The Bullpen?

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.

2 thoughts on “Will There Actually Be a Spring Training Battle For The Bullpen?

  1. Moshe Mandel

    I have a feeling we will see plenty of Melancon, Robertson, and Albie this season. If I had to pick one guy who will noticeably decline, it is Veras. I just dont know that he can keep the ball over the plate consistently enough. Edwar has also topped out as a 6th-7th inning type guy, so he is replacable as well.

  2. Chris H.

    I want to see more of Robertson, in particular. Nasty stuff.

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