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Building the Bullpen

New, comments

Cash has contracted the agents for Ron Mahahy and Luis Vizcaino.


It is believed New York may offer as much as three years and $12 million for the 36-year-old left-hander [Mahay]. Cashman said on Wednesday that the club would like to add a capable left-hander into the mix, supplementing internal candidates Sean Henn, Kei Igawa and Chase Wright.
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The sizable four-year, $19 million deal given to reliever Scott Linebrink by the White Sox may have skewed the market somewhat, and the 33-year-old Vizcaino could look for a similar offer.

I'm opposed to anything longer than a 2 year deal for either of these guys.

First, relievers are so unpredictable that I want to be able to unload either guy without too much sweeting over remaining money (see: Farnsworth, Kyle).  

Second, the Yankees just played hardball with Mariano Rivera and refused to add a fourth year.  Nobody out there has the track record Mo has, so nobody out there deserves a longer deal than that.

Finally, I figure the Yankees are going to give 6 or 7 bullpen spots to relievers (carrying 5 or 6 starters).  

  • Mo and Farnsworth are in.  
  • Personally, I expect to see Chris Britton and Ross Ohlendorf make the team.  
  • I believe Darryl Rasner is out of options, so he's probably the long man.  
  • Humberto Sanchez should be ready for spring training, though the Yankees might feel he needs more time to rehab.
  • I doubt Cash would have traded a promising starter for Jonathan Albaladejo unless he expected Jonny A. to make the team.

That's seven without discussing Edwar, Bruney, Veras, Karstens, Igawa, Henn, or Wright.  

Clearly, the battle for a roster out of the pen will be fierce, and I can't think of a reason it should be any other way.  A commitment of years and dollars to free agents takes the pressure off of them to earn their roster spot- not saying they won't come to compete, but even if Edwar shows up in February with a third pitch he's got little chance of unseating the more expensive veterans.

[editor's note, by jscape2000] Tyler Kepner indicates that the Yankees will also give Jeff Marquez, Alan Horne, and Steven White shots to make the team as relievers. All the more reason to stay away from 33-year old free agents.