The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

At least the bullpen is settled

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Nov 17, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

One of my off-season habits is to create a list of free agents the Yankees are or might be interested in and try and stay in touch with their agents, or the player himself if possible.

I was updating that list today and noticed were no relief pitchers on it. When is the last time that was the case?

If there is one area of the team the Yankees appear settled, it’s the bullpen. Take a look at the depth chart:

Closer: Mariano Rivera.

Left-handed set-up: Damaso Marte, Phil Coke

Right-handed set-up: Brian Bruney, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez

Promising young guys who are moving up: David Robertson, Mark Melancon

Injured guys who could have a role: Humberto Sanchez, Jon Albaladejo

Guys you get a sense could help if they didn’t send them back and fourth to Scranton 500 times: Chris Britton

Assorted long reliever candidates: Dan Giese, Alfredo Aceves

Guys they’re still holding a candle for: J.B. Cox

Minor-league starters who could be good major-league relievers: Chase Wright, Alan Horne, Eric Hacker

Prospects below AAA who could make a move in 2009: Kevin Whelan, Anthony Claggett, Zach Kroenke

That’s 20 pitchers and I’m sure I’m missing a few. The point is that the Yankees have done a nice job of finding and cultivating bullpen arms and it saves them from having to invest in free-agent relievers.





47 Responses to “At least the bullpen is settled”

  1. Mike A. November 17th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Scott Patterson is a Padre.

  2. Todd November 17th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Didn’t Scott Patterson get picked up by the Padres?

  3. AG November 17th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Patterson was sent to the Padres quite a while ago. I remember he had to participate in their rookie hazing, which was infinitely worse than the Yankees’ hazing.

  4. Peter Abraham November 17th, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Yes, forgot that

  5. nyyfaninlaaland November 17th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    A couple of these guys could be gone by Jan. either via trade, Rule 5, etc.

    But the point remains – good pen candidate depth.

  6. bdog375 November 17th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    This is clearly the earliest returns we are seeing on Cashman farm system rebuilding. It is so hard to build a bullpen through free agency, and now we have a bullpen that ranks in the upper third of MLB teams.

    I bet Torre wants back just so he can blow out all these arms!!!

  7. Jesse November 17th, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    great blog entry pete

  8. Jim PA November 17th, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Sounds like a solid pen, lots of trade bait, with arms to spare.

  9. RalphieD November 17th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    what’s a reasonable date by which cc will be signed (by whatever team that is)

  10. mel November 17th, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Don’t forget Texeira! And isn’t Mike Dunn on the radar?

    (p.s. there’s a itty bitty typo in Britton’s entry, I know a UMass guy like yourself would want to get it right)

  11. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    I’m betting Coke might find himself in the rotation as soon as Micheal Dunn is ready.

  12. Artie A November 17th, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Looks like we might have enough for a trade with these young pitchers if we don’t get all these free agents…dare I mention again Jake Peavy?

  13. cream November 17th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    How do you think this all shakes out on opening day?

    I am thniking it will be Mo (closer), Bruney and Marte (the Nelson and Stanton roles), Veras, Coke and Melancon (middle relief until Bruney and/or Marte fail), and Giese or Aceves (Long man/spot starter).

  14. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009. Show CC the money and stay away from Peavy! November 17th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    No mentioning Jake Peavy!

  15. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    I wonder how much Francesa loss on that game. :?

  16. The Franchise November 17th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Peavy is good, but it has to be taken into account he pitched in the NL West, and in a ballpark that no one can hit a homerun in. Bring him to the AL East and his ERA will explode.

  17. duh November 17th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    nice list Pete.

    the pen should be solid. and Melancon is a stud. we’re going to love the guy.

  18. The Franchise November 17th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    I still think Brad Penny is worth a look before Lowe.

  19. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009. Show CC the money and stay away from Peavy! November 17th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    “I wonder how much Francesa loss on that game.”

    It must have been a lot. I can actually hear the veins popping in his head talking about this

  20. Wave Your Hat November 17th, 2008 at 2:04 pm


    Pete’s updating his posts too quickly for my work schedule.

    On the previous posts, you were citing Replacement Level Yankees Weblog as your source for projecting the Yanks to score 830 runs in 2009.

    That seemed high to me, so I took a look at your link. My quick read on the RLYW’s CAIRO projections is that they are too optimistic on the AB projections, which overweights production from our starting 9. It is extremely unlikely that each of our starting lineup will get 500 ABs – it hasn’t happened for a long time. Also, I also think the 5-4-3-2-1 offensive weighting overweights Posada’s 2007 numbers.

    Does CAIRO include a PECOTA-type aging adjustment? RLB’s description of CAIRO was unclear on that. I’m pretty sure the Yanks’ overall performance will decline off of a straight or weighted projection because of age factors for Damon, Matsui, Jeter and Posada.

    My guess is when you factor that in, the Yanks in 2009, on our current roster, will score about the same number of runs we did in 2008.

  21. miggs November 17th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Wow Francesa MUST have bet on that Steelers game, he’s losing his voice because he’s yelling so much. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him this upset. The guy sounds like he’s about to blow a gasket.

    Love it.

  22. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    1/2 the Francesa on the WFAN assets must have been bet in this game. Pujols won the MVP (About time they got it right)

  23. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009. Show CC the money and stay away from Peavy! November 17th, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    How long has Mike been screaming about this game now? 45 minutes? It must have cost him the twins college fund

    Congrats to Pujols

  24. Brandon (TEIX IS NOT WORTH IT, GET CC !)..."Don't trade Robi !" November 17th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    1 hour & 3 mins on this crap.

  25. Nick in SF November 17th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Prediction: CC will not be an Angel.

    The Angels need Tex more than they need CC. I don’t think they would get too involved with CC while Tex is still out there.

    Boras won’t let Tex sign if there is an external factor which could drive up Tex’s value even more. Tex’s value, both to the Angels and perhaps in general, goes up once CC is off the table. Therefore, Boras will let CC sign before he lets Tex sign.

    I might be using some circular logic, but I think what I say will come to pass.

  26. jessidog November 17th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Unreal on Francessa – I am home sick today – and his ranting is not helping me.

  27. S.A.-Looking forward to 2009. Show CC the money and stay away from Peavy! November 17th, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    This is becoming comical. Move on Francesa. Hell, talk about McNabb not knowing about the OT rules in the NFL. Anything else but this.

  28. RER - 98 November 17th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    This can be the best and most versatile bullpen the Yankees have had since the late 90′s.
    A good combination of youth, experience, and balance. A good reason for C.C. and others coming to the Bronx knowing that leads can be protected.

  29. BBB (just say no to Peavy for Cano) November 17th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    So the Yankees definitely view Coke as a reliever going forward? I hadn’t been sure either way about that one.

    It is a great pen though. I think the Yanks should look into selling high on Veras though. He could be a good piece to get a bigger deal done and to be honest, I just don’t trust him all that much, still. I think he started to show his true colors towards the end of the season. Bruney is much better and he is who I want to see in the 8th in 2009.

  30. Jay T November 17th, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    Don’t forget, Coke was a starter in the minors and only moved to the pen to limit his innings. He is probably going to be the Ramiro Mendoza of this team. He can spot start, long relief, set-up, and with his stuff, even close if Mo has been used too many days in a row. Our pen is a strength. Yet, if the starters suck, it will turn into a weekness from over-use. Let’s go get CC and Lowe.

  31. bigjf November 17th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Hopefully Texeira can continue his success as he moves up the system. That could be a real option in the future.

  32. Whitey Fraud November 17th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I hear that Suzyn Waldman is sitting shivah for Darrell Rasner.

    Maybe I should send her some ruggalech or a nice bobkah.

    Or we could all chip in for a cold cuts platter. Or some nice smoked fish…

  33. Hyman November 17th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    Whitey Fraud ;

    Oy Vey !

    Suzyn Waldman has 24 karat chutspa already. Just give her a pickle.

  34. 86w183 November 17th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Great trade chips in that pen, especially if they are diminant in the spring. Coke could go either way, but the fact he was so good in September may indicate that could be his forte’. Remember most if not all relievers began as starters including the best in Yankees history.

    This pen should be a great selling point to starting pitchers. Just give me Burnett over Lowe. Take the risk and reap the reward. A post-season rotation of CC, AJ, Joba and Wang would be a bitch.

  35. bubba November 17th, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Why isn’t Aceves more highly regarded?

  36. ariel November 17th, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Since the Dog left, I no longer watch Francesa. His condescending and insulting attitude to callers whom he doesn’t agree with coupled with his overall pomposity becomes grating. Also, I find it amusing how obsequious he is with the coaches, managers and players, rarely challenging them as a good journalist should do; in short, an obvious Celebrity Parasite. Other than that, he’s ok!!!

  37. Krystal November 17th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    seems great but where does Phil Hughes factor into this list?

  38. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    Dunn is absolutely in the mix, w/3 pitches and mid-nineties FB. Guy could be lethal out of the pen for us in 2009. No mention of Garcia. He looked great in Trenton. What’s the club’s view of him? Will he even be protected?

  39. LathamJoe November 17th, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Humberto Sanchez?? You mean the one with the 11.00 ERA in the Arizona Fall League?

  40. bodhisattva November 17th, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Sanchez has been hit hard but the guy is technically still coming back, building up his arm, etc.

    You can’t get too worked up about results in this various leagues. Everybody goes nuts whenever Hughes has a “bad” outing; the kid is 22 and he’s working on his pitch repertoire, delivery, etc.

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