Now that David Robertson is a free agent, the Yankees need a new closer for the 2015 season. Instead of sitting down and figuring out a deal that can work for both sides, New York instead seems to be looking high and low for an alternative. They have inquired about both Steve Cishek of the Marlins and Craig Kimbrel of the Braves, but now it seems they have fixed their attention on left-handed reliever Andrew Miller.
The Yankees are in serious pursuit of left-hander Andrew Miller. Given the parties in the bidding, he'll likely wind up with a 4-year deal.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 1, 2014
While David Robertson is clearly the best closer on the open market, Miller might be more valuable since he is a year younger, is left-handed, and might not carry the price tag of a closer. That being said, the value of a "proven closer" has to count for something, especially with the Yankees, who did not want to extend Robertson before he showed he could get the job done. For all the talent Miller has shown since moving to the bullpen, he has all of two saves to his name, so there's no telling exactly how the Yankees see him in their hypothetical 2015 bullpen.
Olney believes that with the alternatives out there, teams looking for reliable bullpen arms will push Miller's final contract into four-year territory, but if they're willing to go that high, why aren't they willing to do the same with David Robertson? They could bring in Miller and then take the draft pick that comes with Robertson, but if they see Miller simply as a left-handed specialist and a backend reliever then it should not preclude the return of David Robertson.
Just got off phone with Miller's agt, Mark Rodgers, described #Yankees as 1 of many teams in talks. Said would not classify frontrunner— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 1, 2014
We'll see how everything shakes out, but until then, imagine a bullpen composed of Robertson, Miller, and Betances. If some of the relievers coming through the system pan out then the Yankees could compensate for a potentially weak offense.