Earlier this week, I discussed
available starting pitchers to try and ferret out the best options for the suddenly pitching weak Yankees. Today, we look at bullpen options, as the Yankees may choose to solve their starting pitching problems by moving Phil Hughes to the rotation. The following list is taken primarily from MLBTR, with some of my own additions.
Kerry Wood: He has performed awfully (5.28 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and makes a ton of money (upwards of 10 million for next season). He could be had for free, but the contract and poor pitching makes me say no.
Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez: If the Braves fall out of the race, these two may become available, as both are free agents at the end of the season. Both are having very strong seasons, with Soriano being particularly dominant. Either one will cost you a legitimate prospect.
Danys Baez, George Sherrill: Outside of two awful outings, Baez has been very good and has a solid track record. Sherrill is still under club control, so he will likely be costly.
LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Valverde: Hawkins is unlikely to return to NY, but he has been very effective since leaving. Valverde has an expiring deal, and may be the best pitcher on the list. I doubt he can be head for anything less than Zach McCallister.
Rafael Betancourt: Betancourt has been solid this year, and has a career WHIP of 1.14. His slightly down year might make him a good bargain play.
Michael Wuertz, Brad Ziegler, Craig Breslow: Breslow is a solid lefty who should not require much to acquire. Wuertz seems to have found a niche in the bullpen, and can be used in one inning stints or in a similar manner as Aceves has been used. Zeigler is a good late inning option as well, and he and Wuertz are going to cost something of real value.
Chad Qualls: The D’Backs already traded Tony Pena, so they may be reluctant to part with Qualls. Qualls also has some elbow issues, which make me reluctant to trade the legitimate prospects that Arizona will want for him. When healthy, he is as good as any guy on this list, as he does not allow many home runs and has very solid control.
John Grabow, Matt Capps: Capps is a good pitcher having a rough year, while Grabow is an overrated lefty. I would stay away unless the price is absurdly low.
Juan Cruz – Strikes out a ton of guys, walks a ton of guys. He is the rich man’s version of Jose Veras, and the Yankees need to stay away.
Joe Beimel – He is a solid lefty that should not cost much and has had some success on a playoff team. Not a bad option.
Heath Bell- My favorite guy on the list, Bell is the kind of arm who can end the “who will pitch the 8th” debate once and for all. If the Yankees want to move Hughes to the rotation without getting a ton of flack in the media, they should give up some prospects to get this guy. McCallister, Melky, and Melancon is the package I was considering, but that might be a bit light.
Damaso Marte: Marte recently started rehabbing. If he can be the Marte that was a very good reliever prior to joining the Yankees, this entire article is moot.
Who did I leave out? Who would you target?
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