During the 2016 season, the Yankees had the lethal “Three-Headed Monster” which consisted of Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances in the back of the bullpen. It was a good weapon for the Yankees since their starters only had to go a maximum of six innings. However, the Yankees dealt away Miller and Chapman in the middle of the season which ended up demolishing the bullpen, and it turned the once strong point of the team into their Achilles heel.
In an effort to make the bullpen their strong suit again, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reported the Yankees planned on targeting two relievers in free agency this winter; their old buddy Aroldis Chapman, who is now currently in a playoff run with the Chicago Cubs, and Los Angeles Dodgers Kenley Jansen, who is also in a playoff run.
Chapman said he was open to a reunion with the Yankees prior to the Yankees trading him in July, and has certainly earned the chance to re-negotiate a contract with the Bronx Bombers. Chapman notched 36 saves between the Yankees and the Cubs in 2016.
Jansen isn’t widely known to the American League, or to the American League East in that matter, but he is currently one of the game’s best closers. Jansen notched 47 (!) saves and a 1.83 ERA in 2016.
If the Yankees are able to sign either Chapman or Jansen this winter, then it’s likely the team will push Betances back to his coveted eighth inning set-up role.
I know the Yankees front office wants to believe that Betances could be a failed starter turned All-Star closer story like Hall of Fame legend Mariano Rivera but unfortunately the kid just isn’t cut out for the role. With that said, if the Yankees fail to bring in a closer for the 2017 season, then Betances will continue to pitch in the 9th inning.