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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.

Why the Yankees NEED to resign CC Sabathia

After an already exciting offseason for the Yankees, one big question still remains: will the Yankees resign CC Sabathia?

After recent rumors about the Yankees being interested in trading for Gerritt Cole, a guy they once drafted, it almost seems like they’re turning their shoulder on Sabathia. CC has been worth every penny of his monster contract that the Yankees offered him in 2009. Not only has he performed, but he has genuinely enjoyed his time in New York. After the game seven loss to Houston, CC said "This is my home. I want to see this thing through, I want to come back here and finish things off. This is where I want to be.”

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There’s absolutely no question about Sabathia’s desire to win in New York, and there’s also no question that the fans want their stopper back. There have been a ton of rumors about the Yankees trading for a starting pitcher. Names that have surfaced are Gerritt Cole, Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, and Patrick Corbin. 

A common theme with these pitchers is that none of them have playoff experience. And yes, it’s a big deal. The Yankees are already in contention to make a run at the World Series, and they need veteran leadership to get them there. 

Although the Yankees do have the prospects to complete a trade for a middle of the rotation arm, the price would likely be costly. I understand that the Yankees are ready to win now, but team chemistry and veteran leadership in the clubhouse is more important than an arm that might be just a little fresher and a little better than Sabathia’s. If the Yankees let Sabathia walk, I would rather see them look for a cheap, quality starter in the free agent pool. 

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However, Sabathia proved this postseason that he still has that big game bone in his 6’6”, 300 lb frame. With the Yankees bullpen shaping up the way it has, Sabathia could save a lot in the tank during the 2018 regular season. Going from a power southpaw to more of a crafty locator, Sabathia has made constant adjustments to keep his head above water and continue to pitch very well with the Yankees. 

Sabathia has battled injury and alcoholism, and has prevailed through both. Bottom line is, Sabathia is a warrior, he’s a leader, he’s a good pitcher, and the Yankees need him at the back end of their rotation in 2018. 

In 2017, Sabathia was 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA. Certainly a bounce back after a few down seasons, where he went 18-26 with a 4.42 ERA from 2014-2016. Sabathia is healthier now than he was during that stretch, and is sober. Also, Sabathia developed a cutter, which has been a huge pitch for him down the stretch. 

Sabathia is rumored to have been in talks with the Angels, who have just acquired Shohei Ohtani. Although this is a great fit for both CC and the Halo’s, that’s exactly why the Yankees need to resign him. The Angels look to be ready to make a push in 2018, and I really don’t want Sabathia to be a threat to the Yankees. 

Brian Cashman, if you’re reading this, which obviously you are, please get a deal done and bring the big man 

Article by: Noah Clement