Should the Yankees make a trade for Justin Wilson?

With Aroldis Chapman officially returning to the Yankees, Dellin Betances is back to being the set-up man in the eighth Inning. The bridge to the two, however, is a bit more in question. The roster currently has some viable options such as Tyler Clippard, Adam Warren, and a few others. But, the addition of Justin Wilson would add some flexibility in not only the bullpen, but the starting rotation as well.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac | Getty Images

Warren is one candidate who can fill the role in the seventh, but I believe he could be more successful as a starter. Being a starting pitcher through college and as he came up in the Yankees system, Warren has proven he has to stuff to be successful across multiple innings as a starter. Trading for Wilson would allow the Yankees to avoid spending money or trading more valuable prospects on a starting pitching. Adding another reliable reliever would also allow for Warren and younger pitchers such as Luis Cessa to compete for the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Cessa and Warren (with the Cubs and Yankees) both had 4+ ERAs last season, but Warren had a strong 2015 as a starter with the Yankees making him a possible favorite for now.

Another strong candidate for being the seventh inning pitcher is Tyler Clippard, who filled the setup role after the Chapman and Andrew Miller trades. If the Yankees pursued trading for Justin Wilson, this role could be split between the two of them. Wilson, a lefty, and Clippard, a righty, would allow Girardi to use them according to match-ups or give one more rest on given nights. It would even allow for more versatility with Betances. As we saw in September, Betances was ineffective in closing situations, probably because he was overworked over the course of the long season. If New York traded for Wilson, Clippard could also fill in to the eighth inning a few times to give Betances more days off while still having Wilson for the seventh.
Photo Credit: Brad Penner | USA TODAY Sports

The only downside to trading for Wilson is that the price is high and rising. According to the New York Post, the Tigers are looking for  “controllable Major League arms” for Wilson. Also according to the Post, the Yankees are not the only team interested in him, which can drive the price up. The Yankees have the farm system to compete for the trade but the question is: do they want to give up potential prospects for a reliever?

In my opinion I believe we should go after Wilson. The flexibility he would bring to the rotation and the bullpen is very important. Protecting Betances as best we can from being overworked again should be one of the most important tasks of this upcoming season. I’m not suggesting we baby Betances but the extra bullpen arm would be a big help to his health, especially in September.

Article by: Paul Alvaro


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