5.) Is Andrew Miller really on the block?
The eighth and ninth inning in 2015 often resulted in a lot of empty trips back to the dugout for Yankees opponents. Andrew Miller registered 14.6 strikeouts per nine as the closer, while Dellin Betances was close behind in the setup role with an equally whifftastic 14.0 strikeouts per nine. The pair formed the most prolific relief strikeout duo in league history. The lefty-righty combination of Miller and Betances was nearly unhittable, and games against New York were essentially over after seven innings.
Miller just wrapped up the first year of a four-year contract, but already the Yankees are considering a trade of their closer. Miller is owed $9 million per year over the next three seasons, which looks like a bargain considering the fact that the best closers in the league approach $12 million in yearly salary. The Yankees were able to get Miller on a lesser deal because he had never closed before the 2015 season. The combination of Miller’s relatively low salary and three more years of control make him very valuable on the trade market. After Aroldis Chapman goes, Miller is the most attractive elite closer who could potentially get moved.
The Yankees should hold onto Miller for now. With many question marks in the rotation, even with an addition of an ace like Johnny Cueto or Jordan Zimmermann, the Yankees need to continue relying on the best bullpen combo in the league. With Betances and Miller closing out the last two innings of most victories, the Yankees are able to cover up many weaknesses in their rotation and the front end of their bullpen. At this point, the Yankees are most likely only putting Miller’s name out there to see if someone blows them away with a blockbuster package.