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Yankees Free Agent Relievers: Viewer Discretion Advised

Pedro Feliciano's season-ending (and possibly career-ending) injury is just the latest in a string of free-agent reliever burnouts and blowups that have plagued the Yankees for a decade. It's not surprising; relief pitchers are fickle and usually don't last long.  Paying them a lot changes nothing other than raising expectations to unrealistic levels, which only makes it worse when they do fail.

Talk about an ugly list:

Steve Karsay - 4 years/$22.5 million prior to 2002 - 101 IP, 2.3 WAR

Chris Hammond - 2 years/$4.6 million prior to 2003 - 63 IP, 1.5 WAR, traded prior to 2004 season.

Tom Gordon - 2 years/$7.25 million prior to 2004 - 170.1 IP, 6.5 WAR

Paul Quantrill - 2 years/$6 million prior to 2004 - 127.1 IP, 0 WAR

Felix Rodriguez - 1 year/$3.15 million prior to 2005 - 32.1 IP, .1 WAR

Ron Villone - 1 year/$2.25 million prior to 2006 - 80.1 IP, -.1 WAR

Mike Myers - 2 years/$2.4 million prior to 2006 - 70.1 IP, 1 WAR

Kyle Farnsworth - 3 years/$17 million prior to 2006 - 170.1 IP, 1 WAR

Latroy Hawkins - 1 year/$3.75 million prior to 2008 - 41 IP, -.2 WAR

Damaso Marte - 3 years/$12 million prior to 2009 - 31 IP, -.5 WAR

Chan Ho Park - 1 year/$1.2 million prior to 2010 - 35.1 IP, -.5 WAR

If you're counting at home, that's $79.8 million for 11.1 WAR, a ghastly $7.2 million per WAR.

It gets worse.  Tom Gordon was responsible for more than half the WAR output (before his arm fell off, of course); remove him from the mix, and the Yankees paid about $15.8 million per WAR.

If Brian Cashman and the Yankees brass were first graders, their teacher would make them write I WILL NOT SIGN FREE AGENT RELIEVERS 1,000 times, have their parents sign it, and turn it in on Monday.