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Joe Nathan Free Agency: Yankees make him a secondary priority

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Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees have reportedly been interested in free agent closer Joe Nathan after he voided his contract with the Rangers. Despite their interest, they say they have more pressing issues to take care of, such as a catcher, an outfielder, an infielder, and perhaps a few pitchers.

The Yankees are better off going after the likes of Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran before they look into spending money on the bullpen. If the $189 budget is still in place, the Yankees need to start spending wisely, and that would mean taking care of the bigger, more expensive, needs first.

Fangraphs' crowdsourcing contract project estimated Nathan's next AAV to be around $10 million over a two-year contract. Robertson will cost an estimated $5 million in arbitration this season, so the Yankees already have a better pitcher at half the cost. At that price, the Yankees can save their money by installing David Robertson as the next Yankee closer and instead sign someone to pitch the eighth inning, like Joe Smith or Francisco Rodriguez.

The Yankees have yet to name Robertson the closer, likely because they hope to save money in his arbitration hearing, but also because they might actually believe he isn't "ready" to close. D-Rob has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the last few years, so if their reasoning is the latter, this team might be in trouble. Instead of trying to find a way to burn $10 million a year, maybe they should try extending Robertson over a few seasons before they let him hit the open market.

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