Report: Free-agent RPs Ottavino, Miller on Yankees' radar
The New York Yankees might be fishing for some expensive rotation upgrades in free agents Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ, but that doesn't mean they've forgotten about their bullpen.
A pair of free-agent relievers, right-hander Adam Ottavino and lefty Andrew Miller, are reportedly on the Yankees' radar, according to George A. King III of the New York Post.
Earlier this week, the Post's Joel Sherman reported that there's mutual interest between Ottavino and New York.
Joining the Yankees would represent a homecoming of sorts for both Ottavino and Miller, but in Ottavino's case it would be literal. The 33-year-old is a Brooklyn native who now lives across the river in Manhattan.
"I grew up as a Yankee fan, and it's always been something that would be nice (to play there)," Ottavino told Kyle Newman of the Denver Post last week. "So it would be cool, but I'm not going to allow something like a preference of where to really dictate anything."
Ottavino spent the last seven years with the Colorado Rockies and just completed the best season of his career, tallying 112 strikeouts (13 per nine innings) while posting a 2.43 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP across 75 games. He even thrived at the notorious hitter's paradise of Coors Field, posting a 2.10 ERA and a 0.76 WHIP in Denver compared to 2.70 and 1.18, respectively, on the road.
Miller's quite familiar with the Bronx, as he signed a four-year free-agent deal with the Yankees in 2015. However, he spent just a year and a half in pinstripes before being sent to Cleveland at the 2016 trade deadline.
By contrast to Ottavino, Miller's coming off an injury-plagued year with the Indians that saw him put up a 4.24 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP across only 37 outings, plus another third of an inning in the playoffs. But the 33-year-old's strikeout numbers remained solid, as he averaged over 11 Ks per nine innings in his limited action.
Miller's track record has made him a hot commodity this offseason. In addition to the Yankees, who were previously connected to him, Miller's reportedly drawing interest from the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Relief pitching is already a strength for the Yankees, who last year fielded the first bullpen of the modern era that averaged over 11 strikeouts per nine innings, according to FanGraphs. But they might need some reinforcements for next year, as King reported that re-signing free-agent David Robertson is looking more unlikely (despite a desire to pitch near his Rhode Island home). Fellow free agent Zach Britton also may not return to the team.