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Yanks Can Fill Lefty Void via Queens

By Mike Silva ~ November 7th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

After the Yankees lost to Texas I pointed to the lack of a second lefty in the bullpen as a primary problem for the ballclub. Although it wasn’t the main reason for losing in the ALCS, it didn’t help late in ballgames. The loss of Damaso Marte was extremely punishing, especially a year after he played a key role in their 2009 title. Although Boone Logan did a nice job this year he profiles more as the second lefty than the primary option. That’s why it’s no surprise Brian Cashman will be in the market for a left handed reliever. Two that might fit the Yankees perfectly could be members of the 2010 Mets.

Hisanori Takahashi reportedly wants a 3 year $16 million dollar deal. I doubt he gets that kind of money, but a two year deal for the right price might be worth it. Takahashi came to the States as a starter, but seemed to fit the reliever role very well. He was a starter, setup man, and closer for Jerry Manuel last year. Lefties hit only .217 against Takahashi with an OPS of .544. In the bullpen opposing batters only hit .206 against him. What I like about Takahashi is his versatility as he can perform in various roles, a rare trait that has value in the bullpen. I believe not signing him will be a loss for the Mets, but a three year deal for fifth starter money could not be justified.

The other lefty that might fit the Yankees perfectly is Pedro Feliciano. His value is twofold: he can pitch everyday (266 appearances the last three seasons) and get lefties out at a high rate (.580 OPS for his career). He made just under $3 million dollars last year, and I could see him asking for a 2 year deal in the $6-8 million dollar range. Who knows, maybe even 3 years for $9 depending on the marketm, although I find it unlikely. The workload was heavy under Jerry Manuel, but the Yankees have far more pitching depth that will allow him to pitch less. You can’t justify a long term deal for a situational lefty, but if you can keep it to two years and under $5 million it might be worth it.

Other options that might be cheaper are Joe Beimel, Randy Choate, Scott Downs, Ron Mahay, and Will Ohman. It seems that Ohman and Beimel are perpetual free agent options that last few years.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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3 Responses to Yanks Can Fill Lefty Void via Queens

  1. Tim

    Not bad predictions/suggestions but when all is said and done the additional lefty out of the Yankee bullpen next season will be from in-house, in Manny Benuelos.

  2. jay destro

    mike what is your obsession with every yankees available position being filled by a player from the mets?

  3. Stu B

    “Two that might fit the Yankees perfectly could be members of the 2009 Mets.”

    Actually, only Feliciano was a member of the 2009 Mets. Takahashi arrived in 2010.

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