The New York Yankees are reportedly joining the Los Angeles Dodgers on the list of teams that are interested in acquiring bullpen help in the form of current San Diego Padres’ closer Joaquin Benoit.
The Dodgers, among other teams, have been known for a while now as a team that is in the market for bullpen help. It makes sense that L.A. would be especially aggressive in that pursuit, making them a logical candidate to get Benoit even if it does mean a trade within the division.
If the Yankees were to get serious about adding a back-of-the-bullpen arm like Benoit, it would stray slightly from their presumed trade deadline strategy up to this point. Their glaring weaknesses are in the infield and the starting rotation, with the bullpen a relative strength.
But as we know by now from teams like the Cardinals and those aforementioned Dodgers, sometimes the best plan at the deadline is to make your strength even stronger. In the case of the Cardinals and Dodgers that would be in reference to their respective rotations and their rumored pursuits of guys like David Price and Jon Lester.
For the Yankees that strength would be the bullpen. Jon Heyman reports the following about the team’s interest in Benoit:
LA. is desperate for bullpen help, but the Yankees are a bit of surprise since the open has been their biggest strength, with Dellin Betances and David Robertson at the back end. However, they are having difficulty finding rotation help, so it isn’t a shock they are looking at the pen now.
The Padres might not decide to trade Benoit at all given the fact that he is under team control through next season. If they can initiate a bidding war between a couple powerhouses like the Dodgers and Yankees, however, they might decide to move him to add more rebuilding pieces.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided’s MLB Rumors page to stay up to date with the latest action and rumblings from the baseball hot stove this trade season.