We've reached the halfway point in the offseason and the Yankees have found a new second baseman and a backup outfielder. However, they also traded away a few key components of last year's bullpen. The Yankees have indicated that they are interested in filling those spots internally, or via trade, but there are some free agent relievers still available that probably wouldn't be too costly if they decided to go that route.
2016 Age: 33
2015 Statistics: 55.2 IP, 6.47 K/9, 3.40 BB/9, 3.07 ERA, 3.82 FIP
Jackson was drafted by the Dodgers in 2001 and experienced varying degrees of success during the first 12 seasons of his career. He tossed a no-hitter in 2010, and won a ring with the Cardinals in 2011, but he also routinely posted an ERA and FIP north of 4.00 as a starting pitcher. In 2015, the Cubs converted Jackson to a reliever, and he ended up having one of the best seasons of his career. Compared to 2014, Jackson gave up less home runs, and walked fewer batters. He also cut his ERA in half and lowered his WHIP to 1.17, the lowest mark of his career. The Cubs designated him for assignment in July, but he caught on with the Braves for the remainder of the season then elected free agency when the season ended. He may not be the answer to the Yankees' bullpen question, but at the very least he appears to be a better reliever than a starter and shouldn't be too expensive wherever he ends up.
2016 Age: 36
2015 Statistics: 76 IP, 9.36 K/9, 1.89 BB/9, 2.84 ERA, 2.92 FIP
Blanton is another case of a mediocre starting pitcher turned into a successful reliever, at least in 2015. It looked like his career might come to an end after his 2013 season with the Angels, when he gave up 29 home runs and posted an atrocious 6.04 ERA and 5.19 FIP through 132 and one-third innings pitched. The Athletics signed him to a minor league contract the following year, and he made two starts with their Triple-A affiliate before announcing his retirement. After taking a year off, he started 2015 on a minor-league deal with the Royals, though he ended up being traded to the Pirates. Blanton spent most of the season pitching out of the bullpen and he excelled, finishing the season with not only the highest strikeout percentage of his career (25.6%), but the lowest ERA and FIP as well. The Yankees seem determined to make the team younger, and Blanton wouldn't jive with that. However, if the team decides not to fill all the bullpen spots with internal options, then giving a short and cheap contract to a veteran might not be the worst thing.
2016 Age: 30
2014 Statistics: 59 IP, 5.19 K/9, 3.66 BB/9, 4.12 ERA, 5.40 FIP
If the Yankees wanted to sign another pitcher to an Andrew Bailey type of deal, then Crow could be their guy. He missed the entirety of the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, and was non-tendered by the Marlins earlier in the month. There is not any recent news available on his rehab process, but he was expected to start throwing in August, and to start facing live batters during the spring if he remained on track. He showed flashes of potential when he was with the Royals, striking out upwards of eight batters per nine innings for three consecutive seasons. On the other hand, his career average 3.81 BB/9 indicates that he has command issues. He was worth -1.1 fWAR in the 2014 season when his strikeout percentage dropped from 21% to 13.9% and he gave up 10 home runs through just 59 innings. Still, Crow's only a few years removed from a 9.05 K/9, 3.48 ERA season, so it wouldn't hurt to sign him to a minor-league deal to see if he has anything left in the tank.
Should the Yankees take a gamble on a free agent reliever, or should they just fill the bullpen spots internally?