Replacing Mariano Rivera has to be one of the toughest jobs humanly possible for any candidate that is vying for the closer role for the New York Yankees.
Not only was Rivera great at what he did, but he was an icon, a great clubhouse guy and one of the most humble and respected players in all of baseball. That being said, the Yanks are interested in the antithesis of Mo, a player that rubs people the wrong way. This was put on display in the postseason when he was the protagonist in a benches-clearing spat between the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers, Grant Balfour.
In my opinion, even though the Yanks have to replace Rivera, spending money on any closer is not the right way to allocate their funds. They have plenty of other holes to fill and already have an in-house guy who seems ready to take on the closer role — David Robertson. Sure, Balfour has the pedigree to get the job done, having a 3.20 ERA in 20 postseason appearances, but there are also at least four other teams reportedly interested in him and that surely will bump up his asking price. His boisterous attitude might also ruffle some feathers in the veteran Yankee roster.
With the Yankees looking to re-sign Robinson Cano, to what should be a record deal for a second baseman, as well as looking into free-agent catcher Brian McCann and Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, spending money on the Australian closer seems to be a foolish move. They are trying to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold, and going after a 35-year-old closer isn’t the right way to manage their wallets, even with the seemingly unlimited money the organization has.
Basically, let the hot-headed Aussie collect someone else’s money, because there are much smarter ways to throw around cash, and the Yanks have prepped a home-grown kid to be the heir to Mo’s kingdom.