Heading toward the trade deadline, the Yankees are no doubt interested in acquiring a relief pitcher or two. Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances have been shaky this year, and Tyler Clippard, who was expected to be a major part of the bullpen, has been absolutely awful. If the Yankees want to hold onto their playoff spot, they are going to need better pitching, and upgrading the bullpen might be the easiest way to do that. To that end, the team is reportedly showing interest in David Phelps and Pat Neshek.
Phelps, a player the Yankees previously traded away, has done well for himself out of the bullpen over the last two seasons. After a 2.28 ERA in 2016, he’s backed up to a 3.45 ERA in 2017. His 11.8 K/9 has also fallen to 9.8, but that would still represent an upgrade for New York.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Marlins have gotten hits from the Red Sox, Brewers, Cubs, Rockies, and Rangers as well. Phelps has one more year of arbitration before he is eligible for free agency, so expect a return for him to be a little bigger than you might expect.
Neshek, the 36-year-old veteran, is in the midst of what must be a career year for him. His 1.21 ERA with a minuscule 1.2 BB/9 and strong 9.6 K/9 propelled him to his second All-Star appearance. Despite his age, he would be an intriguing set up option for the Yankees if the price is right.
The Phillies will certainly have their choices because Ken Rosenthal is reporting that there are many teams in the mix for the the right-hander. Apparently, the Brewers and Rays are at least two of the teams who would be competing with the Yankees.
Whatever the Yankees plan on doing in the next few weeks, it’s doubtful that Brian Cashman gives up anyone of significance. This team wasn’t expected to be so good so soon, so the Yankees aren’t going to change course on their rebuild for a team that has lost 16 of their last 25 games. Incremental upgrades will do.