Assessing the Impact of Andrew Miller Signing with the New York Yankees

Surprise surprise, the New York Yankees threw a lot of money around and signed a big name this offseason. Except, this time, it might work out okay for them. But this article isn’t to talk about the disappointing seasons of the Yankees’ free agent signings over the past few seasons. This is an article to talk about how the Yankees signing Mr. Andrew Miller impacts others around the league. So, let’s get started.

New York Yankees: The Yanks gave the 29 year-old Miller, coming off a career year with the Boston Red Sox/Baltimore Orioles, a 4 year, 36 million dollar contract; largest ever for a relief pitcher. Miller will slide right into the closer’s role and will allow the Yankees to enjoy another 4 seasons of not having to worry about who they’re calling in the 9th inning of a 1 run game.

Andrew Miller: 4 years, 36 mil, highest ever for a reliever, uncontested spot for closer role, job security is always nice isn’t it?

Dellin Betances: If the Yankees had been unable to sign David Robertson or Andrew Miller, The 26 year-old righty flamethrower is probably who we would have seen in the closers role for the Yankees in 2015, however the signing of Miller puts Betances in the eigth inning swing-man role although he could still see a few save opportunities on days  Miller is unavailable. Betances had a 1.54 ERA in 42 games last year, 58.1 IP. Of course it could go the other way and Miller ends up as the set-up man while Betances is the closer, although that seems unlikely.

David Robertson: Robertson can take this as a sign that the Yankees are moving in another direction, and can start assessing his options, if there are even any present at the moment. The Yankees have said they are willing to bring back Robertson, albeit at the right (lower than Miller’s) price. This situation is unlikely, Robertson will likely get a contract larger than Miller’s and he is a proven closer unlike his counterpart Miller.

The rest of the RP market: The rest of the relief pitching market should start heating up as Miller is off the table and Robertson will be next to go, relievers like Sergio Romo, Pat Neshek, Rafael Soriano, Luke Gregerson and Casey Janssen should start getting more calls as well.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles aren’t completely crippled as they still have their closer Zach Britton as well as guys like Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day , but the loss of Miller will still hurt. Of course the Orioles have more pressing matters to address with the departures of Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis, so given the depth of the bullpen it makes a little more sense for the O’s to hang on to some money to make moves in the position player market.

Winter Meetings: Yes, the signing of Andrew Miller does actually affect the Winter Meetings in San Diego because now that one of the two big reliever names is off the market, GM’s will be exploring trades to shore up their bullpens. Houston Astros’ Tony Sipp attracted a lot of interest during the season, and apparently Jonathan Papelbon is always available. Maybe the Angels could be enticed into giving up one of their RP’s out of that talented bullpen, it’s the Winter Meetings, anything could happen.

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