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.