Yankees Seek Left-Handed Reliever

Yankees GM Brian Cashman addressed the media this afternoon to talk about the brand new deal for manager Joe Girardi and the club's plans for the offseason.  While he didn't tip his hand too much, he did indicate that the club will be on the look out for a left-handed reliever this winter, writes Chad Jennings of The Journal News.

“If I can find a left-handed reliever who can join Boone Logan, I think that will make our choices out of the pen better for our manager,” the GM said. “It’s easy to talk about it. It’s harder to find it. Those are the obvious things that stand out for me: Continue to improve your starting rotation, find a left-handed reliever and then get after it.”

The Yankees already know that they'll be short-staffed in the bullpen to start the year as Damaso Marte will miss significant time after undergoing shoulder surgery.  Recently, our own Ben Nicholson-Smith identified five lefties on the open market this winter that can be had on the cheap.  If the Yankees are willing to spend more, however, they could pursue the likes of Pedro Feliciano and Scott Downs.


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107 Comments on "Yankees Seek Left-Handed Reliever"


Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

in other words, yankees sign brian fuentes for 2yr/10million deal. seems fair(on the yankee standard).

The_Silver_Stacker
4 years 10 months ago

I would prefer Downs

grownice
4 years 10 months ago

as a toronto fan , yud be pleased with downs hes very reliable outta the pen.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

Fuentes is good against lefties but he’s a finesse pitcher w/ a 89 mph and I think the Yanks would prefer a power arm. 2/$10 is too much for a lefty specialist IMO.

vtadave
4 years 10 months ago

It must be so easy to analyze how the Yankees will approach the Hot Stove League.

1. Identify holes on the roster.
2. Realize that there are very few holes.
3. Identify best free agents at the positions identified in #1.
4. Offer said free agents the most money of any team.
5. Problems solved.

vinnieg
4 years 10 months ago

yeah it never gets old right?

I would love Downs hes proven he can pitch in the AL EAST. How much do you think he will want??

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

atleast 3/15 .

Guest
4 years 10 months ago

few holes?

if they lose Wood…
their bullpen is awful…
plus they need a lefty
plus their starting rotation is the worst in the league almost…
DH is a problem with all their old players, mostly Posada, and Montero possibly coming up… what are they going to do?
Kearns and Thames might leave…
need OF Depth…

4 years 10 months ago

The bullpen isn’t awful. A 3.47 ERA overall is above-average. It wasn’t only Wood that helped the bullpen. Other than the person who closes game for the Yanks, it was D-Rob, Boone Logan, and Joba who did a great job coming out of the bullpen.

vtadave
4 years 10 months ago

Worst in the league? A bit of a stretch there…try being a Royals fan. Add a Cliff Lee to Sabathia, Hughes, and Burnett and you have well, quite a good rotation.

Bullpen is far from awful.

Yeah having Montero knocking on the door is a problem how?

Oh no, Kearns and Thames might leave? Last place time? :-) Those are easy spots to fill. I think the Yankees will be just fine.

NYPOTENCE
4 years 10 months ago

That is an incredibly effective method. Don’t you think?????????

Hits & Gigs
4 years 10 months ago

“If the Yankees are willing to spend more”

ha

haha

Vmmercan
4 years 10 months ago

Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and everyone else the Yankees have demonstrated they are NOT willing to spend on, would like a word with you.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

The first name that came to mind was Chad Qualls…Problem here, he’s not left handed. I say maybe someone through a trade or a minor league deal…Maybe someone like Sean Burnett.

4 years 10 months ago

Scott Downs, best of them all.

Elite Left Hande pitcher, who can pitch conistently well in AL-East.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

but is he worth a top 30 draft pick and a compensation pick to a team within the divison? i think not… feliciano seems more logical.

EvilEmpireMember
4 years 10 months ago

The Blue Jays would not get the Yankees first round pick, that will go to the Rangers after they sign Cliff Lee.

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

Or Crawford.

Hits & Gigs
4 years 10 months ago

or both!

JohnPaulP
4 years 10 months ago

It would be a lot like in 2008 when the Yankees got Burnett, who was like the 3rd or 4th highest ranked player based on Elias ratings, and the Blue Jays got a 3rd round pick. The Yankees likely will sign Lee, and legitimately could sign either Werth or Crawford. If they could get Downs and give up a third rounder, they’ll do it if there is money left over (even the Yankees get hesitant when they are around 205-215m. They need to leave money for the trade deadline as well.)

baseballz
4 years 10 months ago

You are bang on here. Yanks are totally going to sign multiple type A’s, which is fine with me, as that supplemental rounder will still be plenty valuable in the draft next year. But Cliff, Crawford and Downs and the Yankees are done for the offseason.

4 years 10 months ago

Anybody think they could swing another deal with the Braves? The Braves boast three talented lefty arms in Venters, Eric O’Flaherty, and Mike Dunn. Venters would probably be untouchable and they already had Mike Dunn. Does an Eric O’Flaherty for Nick Swisher deal make sense? Just a thought, not putting anything in stone here lol

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

Too much for Eric. By far..

How about brackman?

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

Nope. Brackman wasn’t stellar last year but was finally putting things together and has the ceiling as a front/middle starter. Wouldn’t trade him for a lefty specialist.

bbxxj
4 years 10 months ago

O’Flaherty is a bit more than a lefty specialist as he is pretty good against righties too. He can go a full inning and still be effective.

However your point is still valid. A very good left handed middle reliever who can set up is still not worth Swisher. A younger closer type lefthander like Venters with legit nasty stuff is more on the level of Swisher but even then I don’t think either team does that deal.

In the end the Yanks will likely just get a FA where it costs them just money and not additional player value.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 10 months ago

Now that is what we call a trade.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

Why would the Yankees invest so much time in Brackman, finally showing his upside and then trade him for a bullpen arm?

Swisher and Brackman are more valuable to the Yankees than Flathery because Downs is available, a proven AL east reliver.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

Why? Because brackman is: a) atleast 1.5years away b) still a huge gamble and honestly, not all that great c) still a prospect with high bust chance d) this is a team that traded zach mccallister for austin freaking kearns.

Is that enough for you?

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

And what’s your opinion of McAllister? He’s a ground ball pitcher who stopped getting ground balls, who doesn’t K anyone, and doesn’t have great command either. That equals 5th starter at best in the AL East. If you say Brackman has a 10:1 shot of being a MLB pitcher, McAllister has a 100:1 shot.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

That wasn’t the point and you sir know it. Mccallister is a year removed from being one if the Yankees top pitching prospects. The point is who he was traded for- Austin Kearns(!!!)

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

That say more about where the farm system was than McAllister’s status as a prospect. They traded a failing mediocre prospect for a piece to protect their two LH OFs down the stretch.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

Top pitching prospects really?
Look man i follow the yankees prospects really closely.
Brackman is a big guy who could get it into the high 90’s, most of the time he was injured and didn’t pitch well, now he is finally putting it together and your going to trade him for a bullpen arm because the yankees traded zackmac for kearns? Let’s trade Montero for Juan Uribe also, because from what your implying is because the yankees traded a guy who was considered good for someone like Kearns they must also do that for all their prospects.

Point is what you saying is absurd, Brackman has talent to be real good, will he make it? no one knows.

eneff
4 years 10 months ago

Definitely agree… Brackman was considered the best talent in the 2007 draft but fell to the Yankees because he needed TJ. After he came off TJ he actually has done decent for us. Also, Ferrariman, Brackman is not at least 1.5 years away. He was a september call up this year but didn’t get credit for it because he warmed up a couple times but never got into a game. So I’m looking for Brackman to break into the active roster a couple times for the Yanks in 2011.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

So Dellin Betances is ore than 1.5 years away, should we trade him also?
Aren’t most prospects a huge gamble ?

4 years 10 months ago

All prospects are a huge gamble. That’s why they are refferred to as “prospects” with “potential”.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

With all due respect. Pick up stone and drop it on your foot. That’s all.

Swisher was arguably the Yanks second best hitter behind Cano in terms of production and consistency. They would need to get a whole lot more in return. With Jeter possibly in continued to decline, Arod coming off an “off” year and Posada being so fragile and iffy they need to rely on the younger guys like Swisher, Cano, etc to help carry the team.

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

No that trade doesn’t make sense, at all.

4 years 10 months ago

Hell no. That is a horrible trade. I really wonder why people all of the sudden are yelling “Trade Swisher!” wtf? He is pretty much our heart and soul, and when our vets were struggling in the beginning of the season, it was Swish along with Cano that got us through that.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

I like Arthur Rhodes, Darren Oliver (option) and Downs even though he’s going to be stupid expensive and require a 1st rnd.

Rhodes is a great option because he’s a vet who knows how to pitch. Pitches well vs lefties (2.66/0.80 in 23 IP w/ 26 ko and 1 bb) and righties (2.01/1.18 in 31 IP w/ 24 ko and 17 bb). He’s not overpowering but throws in the 91-93 mph range and pitched well in a hitter friendly park (only 3 hrs in 28 IP @ Great American). Only draw back is that he projects as a Type A free agent. He just came off a 2/$4 mil deal so I don’t think he’ll demand a whole lot salary wise.

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

3yr/12 mil for Downs would not be considered expensive. It would for most teams but as you know, these are the Yankees.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

I’m not sure if Downs will come that cheap. A lot of teams are going to be interested in Downs. Also, I was thinking in terms of dollars and pick comp, even though the comp isn’t as much of an issue if they sign another type A.

Sniderlover
4 years 10 months ago

It was funny reading comments at the trade deadline that there was no way Downs was going to be a FA and that teams wouldn’t be willing to sign a Type A non-closer reliever.

Starting pitching is important but in playoff games, you need great relievers you can depend on and Downs is exactly that type of guy.

At most, I see Downs getting 3yr/14 million which would be great for him and gives him security.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

Funny, I remember more people saying they would rather wait until he was a free agent given the cost that the Jays were requesting. If anything most ppl figured he would go to a team signing more than 1 type A.

Vmmercan
4 years 10 months ago

Rhodes was an AL East mess in his prime with a tenacity for not pitching well in a big spot. I’ll pass on the 41 year old version with a bad foot.

4 years 10 months ago

Avoid Feliciano his arm is due to fall off after a couple years of JerryBall.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. He’s avg’d about 60 IP for the last 5 years. Also, he allows to many runners on base (66 hits and 30 walks in 62 IP).

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

That’s really because he sucks against righties, he should be a lefty specialist.
Righties hit .336 and has twice as many BB against him than lefties.

If the yankees are looking for a specialist fuentes is just filthy against lefties, Downs is good against both.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

Yeah but Fuentes is a finnese guy and Giardi seems to really like power arms. I just keep flashing back to 2009 and how bad he was in the playoffs. Want no part of him. I’d rather have Rhodes or Downs.

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

It’s not like Downs is a “power arm”, he’s averaged 89.3 last year. So he’s not some flamethrower.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

Brackman, Betances and Banuelos could be our future, the triple B’s.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

They can all be busts too.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

Yes but we don’t know that. I’m saying it makes little sense for the yankees to do this trade.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

Their is an exponentially higher chance they flame out than their is them succeeding. The odds that brackman becomes a successful MLB producer? I’d say 10:1

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

Dude every prospect is a risk. Look at the history of #1 draft picks overall. But to trade a top prospect who hasn’t arrived yet for a lefty specialist, and a mediocre one at that, is stupid.

raullll
4 years 10 months ago

Dude, most prospects could end up being busts, that’s what makes them a “prospect”

$3977112
4 years 10 months ago

They are already know as the Killer B’s. Chances are they’ll be some other team’s future.

$3977112
4 years 10 months ago

Cashman is cheap when it comes to middle relievers. Don’t expect the Yankees to sign Fuentes or Downs. Think more along the lines of Ohman, Mahay or Rhodes on a one year deal.

Ferrariman
4 years 10 months ago

Rhodes was just as good as downs last season. I see him getting a 2yr/4.5mil deal somewhere

nictonjr
4 years 10 months ago

At 2/4.5 Cinci would re-sign him. The need BP help…

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

2/$4.5 would be perfect.

EricJB
4 years 10 months ago

Didn’t the Yankees just release Kerry Wood, a left-handed reliever?

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

sigh. too easy

4 years 10 months ago

Yes you are right but he is a left-handed reliever that throws right-handed so he doesn’t qualify.

eneff
4 years 10 months ago

haha… hilarious

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

haha. the ppl below have sort of answered that. He was traded to the Yanks w/ a $10 mil option for 2011. They want him back but not at that price. If he can be had for half tha then the Yanks will probably try and bring him back.

cubfan4life
4 years 10 months ago

I keep seeing the same names over and over again. Downs, Feliciano, and Fuentes.
Yes Downs might be the best LH option but he will cost a draft pick as well as having to pay him at least close to closer money to set up.

How about a couple guys that are pitching right now on one of the top 3 pitching staffs in baseball. Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt?

I dont really buy into the whole needing to have success in the AL or the AL East to be an option. For starters yes. For specialists out of the pen, no. Their job is to get the best one or two LH hitters out and regardless of league they are facing elite hitters.

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

Affeldt has a club option for $4m I believe.

cubfan4life
4 years 10 months ago

Affeldt does have a club option but its for 5M. I dont see SF paying that to keep him around. especially since the report just came out about Javier Lopez missing his playing time cutoff by 5 days for free agency.
I see them keeping Lopez and then using one of their younger relievers next year Runzler comes to mind.

Once they acquired Lopez Affeldt kinda became the forgotten man in SF and really didnt pitch much until the NLCS in game 5.

Im not saying that he is dominant against lefties as they hit .290 against him this year. But if he can get back close to his 09 numbers .211 LH BAA and .187 RH BAA
he could be a nice piece out of the pen who should come cheaper than the alternatives that keep getting mentioned (Fuentes, Downs) as Cashman does tend to underspend on the pen.

4 years 10 months ago

How about Pat Venditte the switch pitching player? He recently played as high as AA. Not quite ready yet but maybe a September callup?

cubfan4life
4 years 10 months ago

Kind of a giant leap to make. Yeah he reached AA this past year, for a whopping 2 innings and 11 batters. Sure his numbers are good but he is at least a year away. Hardly someone that could start 2011 in the pen for NY.

Zack23
4 years 10 months ago

Nope, he doesn’t have good stuff. Only reason people know him is because he throws with two arms.

4 years 10 months ago

BRING BACK STANTON!!! :)

baseballdude
4 years 10 months ago

why dont they call up their switch pitcher??

4 years 10 months ago

heh.

4 years 10 months ago

Do we really need to overpay for a lefty specialist who’s only gonna dissapoint us again just like every other reliever we signed ever since Mike stanton left?

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

you’d love scott downs in pinstripes. . tough on lefties, but can get righties out. strands base runners, keepts the bbs down and the k’s up..

If the yanks did sign him, it would instantly solidify your bullpen, having joba in the 7th and downs in the 8th, and moe in the 9th would be deadly.

4 years 10 months ago

You damn well know he’d dissapoint… which is the only reason i think youre offering him… kidding but really i think any signed reliever will be a dissapointment in NY, can’t blame me.

moonraker45
4 years 10 months ago

He’s pitched in the AL east for 6 years. I know its diff pitching in nyc half the season, but he knows the talent he knows the opponents and has never crumbled in any other situations. I doubt very much he’d disapoint

4 years 10 months ago

Brian Fuentes would be the perfect fit. He is deadly against lefties, and he’ll be over paid.

slider32
4 years 10 months ago

You can bet the Yanks will address their pitching problems in the off season. Lee is the first priority. I don’t think Cashman will go cheap this year with the bullpen. Downs might be the top reliever on their list with Feliciano as a back up. Bullpens change drastically from year to year as do some rotations. Thats why the Giants are in the World Series. The Yanks will go with the best available options to win 95 plus games and hope the pitching stays heathy.

4 years 10 months ago

No…? Ok the bullpen next year:
Boone Logan LHP
David Robertson RHP
Alfredo Aceves RHP
Mo

Gaudin, Mitre, and Moseley should all be non-tendered, except for one who should be assigned to the minors, preferably Mitre since he pitched better than Gaudin and Moseley. Kerry Wood shouldn’t be brought back. David Phelps should be brought up mid-season to relieve so now that’s 5. I think Scott Downs will probably sign. That’s six. Joba and a couple of other guys will probably be fighing for a rotation spot so, it depends wether he wins or not.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

For some reason ppl think that because the Yanks spend a lot on starters and position players that they’ll simply overspend on reliever. Aside from mid season trade acquisitions, and Mo, the only big ticket relievers I can think of are Mart and Farnsworth. Lately the Yanks have tried to save money by going cheap on relievers and bench players.

Avg starter: $12.6 mil
Avg positionplayers: $13 mil
Bullpen except for Mo: Joba @ $488,000, Robertson @ $427,000, Aceves @ $436,000, Mitre @ $850,000, Logan @ $590,000, Gaudin @ $700,000, Marte @ $4 mil. That’s an average of slightly more than $1 mil per starter. Marte’s salary drastically warps that avg. Take him out and the avg reliever for the Yanks made about $581,000.

Figure that the Yanks will bring back…

Joba- 73 gms, 4.40/1.30 , 71 IP, 77 ko, 22 bb (2nd half: 34 gm, 2.88/1.08, 34 IP, 37 ko, 8 bb)

Robertson- 64 gms, 3.82/1.50 , 61 IP, 71 ko, 33 bb (2nd half: 33 gm, 2.27/1.23, 31 IP, 39 ko, 16 bb)

Logan- 51 gms, 2.93/1.35 , 40 IP, 38 ko, 20 bb (2nd half: 34 gm, 2.08/1.02, 22 IP, 25 ko, 8 bb)

Aceves- Missed most of 2010. In 2009 – 84 IP, 3.54/1.01, 69 ko and 16 bb.

Gaudin- (w/ Yankees)- 30 gms, 4.50/1.38 , 48 IP, 33 ko, 20 bb.

Mosely- 16 gms ( 9 starts), 4.96/1.42 , 65 IP, 33 ko, 27 bb. In his 9 starts he avg’d 6 IP and 3 er allowed.

Key to 2011- Obviously a healthy Mo. A healthy and durable Aceves. Consistent performance from begining to end from Joba, Robertson and Logan. A good mop up/spot starter like Mosley to take some of the wear and tear off of Aceves stashed in AAA to bring up as needed.

Needs-A veteran 8th inning guy to help Joba and another lefty specialist.

Roster- 8 position players, Montero or a RH DH, Cervelli, back up IF, super utility IF, 4th OF and 5 starters will allow 7 bullpen arms…

Mo
FA righty pick up to help w/ 8th inning duties.
Joba (7th-8th inning guy)
Robertson (6th inning guy)
Aceves (multi inning reliever)
Logan (lefty specialist)
2nd Lefty specialist

jpkinney7
4 years 10 months ago

Andrew Bailey & Craig Breslow (A’s) for Jesus Montero

YanksFanSince78
4 years 10 months ago

So you think the Yanks would go from offering…

Halladay for Montero.

Lee for Montero and 2 other B prospects.

to Bailey and Breslow (two good relievers) for Montero? I think noT. As good as those two are you dront trade a potential clean up bat for 2 relief pitchers.

4 years 10 months ago

That’s a horrible trade.