We’re nearly halfway through the offseason, and over the past month we’ve ran individual stories on just about every top free agent on the market. Although they’ve yet to make any additions to the bullpen, the Yankees have been connected to all the top relievers, including David Robertson, Zach Britton, and Adam Ottavino. We couldn’t possibly cover every available pitcher, but here’s a look at some of the other (cheaper) relievers that the Bombers could consider adding to the bullpen.
After years of solid work as Cleveland’s closer, Allen stumbled in 2018. His strikeout rate dropped to 10.75 K/9, walks increased to 4.43 BB/9, and he struggled to keep the ball in the park (1.48 HR/9). All of that resulted in a career-low 93 ERA+. Allen, 30, recorded five blown saves (a career high) and had to be removed from the role of closer. That’s really not the year that you want to have before hitting free agency, though MLB Trade Rumors still expects him to get a deal in the range of two years, $16 million.
A former starting pitcher, Norris moved to the bullpen full-time in 2017 and has experienced better results there. He finished 2018 with a 3.59 ERA (3.99 FIP) and 10.46 K/9. The veteran even worked as the Cardinals’ closer. Right-handed relievers are pretty much a dime a dozen, but Norris could represent a cheaper option.
Brach is one of the many, many players that the Orioles shipped off at the trade deadline. After a poor first half with Baltimore (4.85 ERA, 1.76 WHIP), the right-hander was solid down the stretch for Atlanta. He surrendered just four earned runs through 23.2 innings. Walks tend to be an issue for him, but he doesn’t give up many home runs. MLBTR predicts that Brach will sign a deal in the same range as Norris, roughly two years, $12 million.
Could our old friend Warren join the Yankees once again? Brian Cashman has traded him twice now, and oddly enough was sent to the Mariners for just international bonus pool money at the deadline. I think we’re all sufficiently familiar with what the right-hander has to offer at this point. He does a fine job in a multi-inning role, and has been pretty consistent over the years. If the Yankees do bring him back though, he better ask for a no-trade clause.