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Will the Yankees make any reunions in 2019?

Several names in the free agent pool have spent time in pinstripes previously, but will they return for another stint?

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
The beard was impressive, but Andrew Miller would have to shave it if he returned to the Yankees in 2019.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The offseason is in full swing following the conclusion of the GM meetings, and the Yankees are in pursuit of top-level talent from the free agent and trade fronts. While the Bryce Harper’s and Manny Machado’s of the world will no doubt be considered, there are other spots on the roster to examine once they make their decisions.

A few notable members of this year’s free agent class could conceivably be productive players for the Bombers in 2019, and they have the distinction of already having played for the club. In all three areas of need, the Yankees could turn to former teammates to contribute in 2019.

The rising star of this group is Nathan Eovaldi. Acquired by the Yankees in a 2015 trade with the Marlins, Eovaldi was a low-risk, high-reward candidate that didn’t fully pan out. He flashed glimpses of dominance during his stay in New York, but he also showed inconsistency and a tendency for injury. His ’15 season ended in September after being shut down with elbow inflammation, and his ’16 campaign ended in August with Tommy John surgery. The surgery would hold Eovaldi out for the entire 2017 season, prompting his release in November.

Eovaldi made it back in 2018 with the Rays, and a midseason trade brought him to Boston, where he shined in the postseason. Eovaldi won both of his starts (including game three of the ALDS against the Yankees), and transitioned to a bullpen role in the ALCS and World Series. His lone loss of the postseason was a six-inning extra-inning effort to save the Sox pen in Game Three of the Series.

Eovaldi would be an interesting candidate to return to the Bronx, especially since he credited pitching coach Larry Rothschild as a significant factor in his improvement as a pitcher. Recency bias with his postseason run may make his price tag too costly, but if he’s on the market come January and the Yankees still have a hole in the rotation to fill, Eovaldi wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Staying on the pitching side, former star reliever Andrew Miller is available as well. Miller was dominant in his ever-changing role for the Yankees from 2015-16, where he posted a 1.77 ERA and struck out 177 batters in 107 innings. Miller was flipped to Cleveland midseason in 2016, and was instrumental in the Indians’ run to the World Series that year. Miller’s workload may have caught up to him in 2018, however, as the lefty spent significant time on the disabled list and posted a 4.24 ERA.

Buying low on Miller could be a useful way to keep the bullpen loaded for 2019. With Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Chad Green still under contract and David Robertson potentially returning, Miller could slot into the spot filled by Zach Britton last year and regain his form in less leveraged innings. Signing Miller would again depend on the price range, but with a league-wide shift towards paying for future production rather than past accomplishments, Miller could end up the most likely to return to the Bronx.

The final candidate to rejoin the team in 2019 would be Brian McCann. The 34-year old catcher was a part of the 2013 offseason spending spree that brought him in alongside Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, and was traded in the 2016 exodus that reinvented the organization. In that span, McCann went from the everyday catcher to the backup to a rookie Gary Sanchez, whose hot streak made McCann immediately replaceable.

The only real reason for bringing McCann aboard next year is as Sanchez insurance. Sanchez had offseason surgery recently, and while he isn’t expected to miss any regular season games, Sanchez has had DL stints in the last two seasons. Austin Romine is a capable backup, but if an extended period of playing time arose, McCann would be a superior option.

Romine is also much cheaper, though, as he made only $1 million last year. That number should go up in arbitration, but shouldn’t be as much as McCann will earn. McCann had a $15 million option for 2019 that the Astros declined, but even considering a massive pay cut, McCann could command several million dollars.

There are a few other former Yankees out there on the market (hello, Melky) but due to roster construction would be highly unlikely to sign with the Yankees. What do you think about these three players? Would you want them back on the team, and if so, at what price? Let us know in the comments.