After being linked to Andrew Miller for several days, the Yankees finally made it official yesterday by signing him to a four-year deal worth $36 million. What does that mean for the team as they proceed through the offseason?
Miller's deal makes it less likely that David Robertson will return to the team. The Yankees have said that they're still interested in re-signing D-Rob if his price comes down, but does anyone really think that he'll take less money after seeing Miller's contract? If anything, it seems to solidify that he will get a deal worth quite a bit more, since he successfully took over the closer role from Mariano Rivera, and has pitched well for the Yankees for years. Miller has been a good reliever for a few years since moving from the rotation to the 'pen, but he doesn't have closer experience. Now that Robertson's a "proven closer," and after a postseason where the bullpen was everything, there's bound to be a team out there that will pay him the "Papelbon money" that he supposedly wants. It could be the Astros, since they had been linked to Miller (and he supposedly turned down their offer of 4-years/$40 million) and have been linked to Robertson. Now that the Yankees have Miller, the Astros might be willing to throw D-Rob all the money.
Obviously a bullpen featuring Dellin Betances, Miller and Robertson would be ideal. Just imagine Joe Girardi using Betances and Robertson back-to-back one night, Miller and D-Rob another. All three back-to-back would pretty much guarantee a win. With that being said, the Yankees should probably focus away from the bullpen at this point. It's all well and good to have a knockout bullpen, but this team has seriously struggled to produce runs over the past two seasons, and the Shane Greene trade just added another question mark to the starting rotation. The rotation now consists of CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka who will be returning from injuries, and Michael Pineda. Ivan Nova won't be ready to return from rehabbing his elbow until midway through the season. Of the pitchers on the 40-man roster, Bryan Mitchell and David Phelps would now be in consideration to start. Interestingly, Brian Cashman has also been making comments about Adam Warren, indicating that he may not stay in the pen. It was just last year that Phelps and Warren were part of the competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, but a rotation of Pineda, CC, Tanaka, Phelps/Mitchell and Warren is more than a little unsettling. I would much rather see the team take the money that they could spend on Robertson and use it to pursue Max Scherzer or Jon Lester, and re-sign Brandon McCarthy.
Not to mention the fact that the infield also has holes to fill. Martin Prado can play second or third, but if he's the starting second baseman, the starting third baseman would currently be Alex Rodriguez. If Prado gets the nod to start at third, then the Yankees could roll the dice with Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela at second, and A-Rod could be the backup first baseman. That plan sounds shaky at best. The Yankees have sounded less and less interested in signing Chase Headley, but they're going to need to do something to improve the infield.
Do you think the Yankees should try to bring back Robertson, or should they shift their focus to filling the holes in the rotation and infield? Is it feasible that they re-sign D-Rob AND still go after Scherzer/Lester, McCarthy, plus another infielder?