The Yankees have reached an agreement with free agent reliever Adam Ottavino for three years and $27 million dollars, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. The contract comes on the heels of Zach Britton’s three-year, $39 million deal two weeks ago, and should represent the last major investment in the Yankee bullpen this winter.
Ottavino is 33 and coming off an outstanding season for the Colorado Rockies, striking out 12.98 men per nine with a 24.6% K-BB%. He has also logged 130 innings in relief over the last two seasons, meaning he should be comfortable being used liberally by Aaron Boone, never one to let a starter go too long.
He’s also something of a hometown hero, growing up in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn and attending Berkeley Carroll School before being drafted by the Rays and declining to sign in 2003. Ottavino made headlines earlier this offseason by saying he’d be able to strike out Babe Ruth, and with a slider like this it’s hard to argue:
Adam Ottavino, Filthy 82mph Slider and 97mph Two Seamer K Sequence. pic.twitter.com/d76dWi5Y8j— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 3, 2018
At the very least, Ottavino in the bullpen now means the Yankees have perhaps the two most devastating breaking balls in the game, and Ottavino’s main whiff pitch should be lots of fun to compare against Dellin Betances’.
With a total of $22 million in AAV spent on Ottavino and Britton, you have to figure the Yankees are done spending on relievers this winter, but stay tuned just in case more shoes are dropping. Meanwhile, I wonder if the Yankees will let him wear #0.