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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

MLB Free Agency: Yankees interested in Yu Darvish

With the Yanks having already made a major splash in a relatively otherwise quiet offseason across the league, they're looking to make another move. According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports, the Yankees are interested in starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who they have shown trade interest in in the past.

Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Darvish, a four-time All-Star participant, was traded from the Rangers to the Dodgers in the middle of the season in 2017. He went on to have a particularly disappointing postseason with the Dodgers, including game seven against the Astros in which he was atrocious in the clutch. For the regular season, Darvish pitched to a 10-12 record with a 3.86 ERA and 209 strikeouts across 31 starts between the Rangers and Dodgers.

His lack of success in the clutch has to be concerning for teams pursuing him, along with his injury concerns across his career and the high price tag set on him. For the postseason, Darvish made four starts going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA, but as mentioned, his last two starts were horrible. Both in the World Series, he didn't make it out of the second inning in either start while combining for eight runs allowed and not registering a K. His first two starts were tremendous though, combining to allow just eight hits and two runs on 11.1 innings while racking up 14 strikeouts.

Photo Credit: Alex Gallardo/AP

Now if there is serious interest in Darvish which it seems there has been for quite some time, the Yankees would likely have to move Jacoby Ellsbury’s massive contract to create some cap to sign Darvish. One has to think signing Darvish is very unlikely though, considering the hefty price tag and the fact that he's already 31 years old. Something else to remember though is after bringing back CC Sabathia, the Yanks have their five-man starting rotation. So with signing Darvish, they'd either have to have a six-man rotation or eject youngster Jordan Montgomery.

With the Yanks having already shown major interest in the trade market for a pitcher, including Gerrit Cole and Michael Fulmer, it's unknown as to whether they'd rather hand out a massive contract to a 31 year-old or give up top prospects in order to land another starter. That question will eventually be answered, as we will soon find out whether the Yanks will make another big move or decide to stay put.

Stay tuned to BBB for offseason rumors revolving the Yankees and specifically their pursuit of a starting pitcher.

Article by: Spencer Schultz