The New York Yankees have made a dominant bullpen even more imposing on Thursday, signing reliever Adam Ottavino to a three-year, $27 million, according to multiple reports.
The completion of the deal is currently pending a physical.
Ottavino is coming off a career year with the Colorado Rockies, the club he spent the past seven years with, where he posted a 2.43 ERA with a career-high 112 strikeouts in 77.2 innings of work. He had posted a sub-3.00 ERA just once before when pitching over 50 innings in a season, which came back in 2013.
The 33-year-old’s sudden rise on the MLB stage derived from a devastating combination of a sinker and slider that is a go-to out pitch that has yet to be figured out by opposing batters. It made him a hot commodity on the market as one of the best bullpen arms available.
Given his ties to the Yankees — he grew up a fan of the team as a New York City native — Ottavino was immediately linked to the Bronx Bombers as soon as he hit the open market, though things slowed as Major League Baseball’s slow offseason dragged on. Shortly after they re-signed Zach Britton earlier this month though, Ottavino’s name re-surfaced in free-agency rumors.
His acquisition only adds to the Yankees’ embarrassment of riches in the bullpen, which also features Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, and Chad Green.
An overwhelmingly strong bullpen might just be what the Yankees need, considering they haven’t done too much to improve their starting rotation.
They’ll be relying on hypotheticals when it comes to the ace of their pitching staff as the Yankees will hope Luis Severino can rebound from a horrendous second half of the season. In the meantime, the newly acquired James Paxton will be tasked with being a top-tier starter despite the 30-year-old never having pitched more than 160.1 innings.
While they brought back J.A. Happ in hopes he can repeat his 7-0 second-half surge after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays, Masahiro Tanaka and CC Sabathia also provide sizable question marks as well.
Ottavino only further strengthens manager Aaron Boone’s security blanket that is the bullpen as they might be a very busy unit in 2019.