No shortage of flamethrowers in stacked 'pen

Led by Chapman, Yankees relievers the class of baseball

January 10th, 2018

NEW YORK -- The swing-and-miss arsenal of the Yankees' bullpen was viewed as one of the club's greatest strengths during the 2017 season, and that crew should again dominate American League opponents when it's deployed by new manager Aaron Boone.

All of that heat should come in handy, with Boone envisioning a lineup that produces many leads for closer and his friends to protect.

During a recent appearance at Yankee Stadium, said that he was thrilled by the acquisition of reigning National League MVP , and is viewing 2018 as a challenge to prove himself after control issues interrupted the latter part of his previous campaign.

"I feel I'm a lot better than what the numbers show," Betances said. "A lot of teams are going to be coming after us this season, but we'll be ready. We were so close. I think next year is a big year for us." is taking a look at the projected bullpen of all 30 teams ahead of Spring Training. Here's how the Yankees might stack up:


Aroldis Chapman, LHP (closer)


Dellin Betances, RHP


Tommy Kahnle, RHP




Pure firepower. Yankees relievers struck out a team-record 653 batters in 2017, setting a new Major League mark with 10.92 strikeouts per nine innings. Betances and Green became the seventh bullpen duo ever to notch 100 strikeouts each, while Chapman recorded the league's highest average fastball velocity at 100.2 mph.


Can Betances fine-tune his mechanics? He was reduced to a non-factor during the postseason, with Kahnle summoned to clean up his messes. Betances said that he is focusing on fastball command during his workouts in the Dominican Republic; unable to control his heater, the right-hander became too reliant on his breaking pitches late in the year.


Since the bullpen appears strong, moving Robertson in a trade would be one avenue for the Yankees to upgrade other areas of the roster while keeping payroll under the $197 million threshold. For luxury-tax purposes, Robertson will cost $11.5 million and can be a free agent after 2018, but he is coming off a fine season and would be a logical fill-in if Chapman were unavailable. Remember, an inconsistent stretch cost Chapman his closer's job for a few weeks last summer. Plus, Robertson's willingness to be used in any situation is a terrific asset.