State of the Yankees bullpen • 12.17.10
With Pedro Feliciano on his way across town from the Mets, and Mariano Rivera officially re-signed as the closer, the Yankees bullpen has most of its pieces in place. It could still use an arm or two to solidify the late innings, and maybe another option for long relief, but most of the work has been done.
Locked in place
Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain, Dave Robertson, Pedro Feliciano, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre
Even though he’s currently their best option as a No. 5 starter, I’ll include Mitre on this list because it’s hard to imagine the Yankees not adding some sort of starter between now and spring training. He’s also their best option for long relief, with most of the alternatives — Alfredo Aceves, Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin — no longer on the roster.
Big leagues or bust
Robert Fish, Daniel Turpen, Romulo Sanchez
These three are on the 40-man roster, and they can’t be sent to the minor leagues. Fish and Turpen are the two Rule 5 picks, and they have to be passed through waivers and offered back to their former team before the Yankees can send them down. Fish, the lefty, seems to have a better shot than Turpen, but even he’s considerable long shot. Sanchez is out of options — confirmed by the Yankees — and could be a legitimate dark horse as a hard throwing reliever capable of pitching multiple innings.
On a minor league deal
Mark Prior, Neal Cotts, Brian Anderson, Andy Sisco, Buddy Carlyle
All of these are long shots, obviously, but I get the sense that Cotts intrigues the Yankees a guy who could come up to play a role if Logan or Feliciano is hurt during the year. I’m guessing we’ll see a few more minor league signings in the next two months, especially a Dustin Moseley/Jason Hirsh type who could start in Triple-A and pitch long relief in New York.
Prospects looking to open eyes
Andrew Brackman, Dellin Betances, Hector Noesi, Ryan Pope, Steve Garrison
I only listed the other minor league guys who are on the 40-man roster, but I’m sure others — David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell, Manny Banuelos, Adam Warren, etc. — will also be invited to camp. That said, I don’t think the Yankees are eager to move any of their young starters into the bullpen to start the season, and relievers like Pope and Garrison still need Triple-A experience. Probably not legitimate options out of spring training.
Associated Press photo of Feliciano