Mariano Rivera: 3 Trade Options Should the Yankees Choose to Replace Rivera
Rafael Soriano and David Robertson are currently in line to pitch the ninth, but Joe Girardi hasn't said who will be the primary choice and replacement.
Popular opinion would suggest that Robertson should see the most time in the ninth, but Girardi seems content with mixing it up.
Should the Yankees choose to pursue a trade, there are several options that could be had at the right price.
If the Yankees' ninth-inning tandem is struggling by the trade deadline, look for Brian Cashman to make a few calls to see if the following three guys are available.
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Brandon League of the Seattle Mariners will be a free agent this offseason, and he also stands to make just $5 million in 2012.
This makes League an interesting option for the Yankees, as they could offer to take his remaining salary at the deadline and only give up a mid-level prospect in return.
After taking over for David Aardsma last season, League established himself as a solid closer.
In 65 appearances, League posted a 2.79 ERA and saved 37 games. He allowed only three home runs and walked just 10 in 61.1 innings. He's been strong so far this season, compiling seven saves with a 2.57 ERA.
To acquire League, the Yankees would likely take on all of his remaining salary, while also sending a prospect like David Adams or D.J. Mitchell.
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He became a full-time closer for the first time in 2011, and he did not disappoint. He saved 40 games and put together a pristine 1.83 ERA en route to his first career All-Star appearance.
He has picked right up from last season and has four saves and a 3.38 ERA.
A trade for Hanrahan would be very similar to a trade League. Hanrahan is a free agent after the season and makes just $4.1 million.
If the Yankees pick up his salary, Adam Warren could be enough to get a deal done with the Pirates.
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Even though Grant Balfour has struggled as the closer in Oakland thus far in 2012 (0-1 with an inflated 4.73 ERA and six saves), the Australian native has been a very reliable reliever in the past.
The Athletics hold a team option on him for next season, but they may be inclined to move him at the deadline if they're out of a playoff race and if he is still struggling.
Should the Yankees acquire Balfour, they wouldn't necessarily have to put him in the closer's role.
He could go back to being the seventh inning guy, with Soriano and Robertson battling it out for saves.
It'll probably cost the Yankees a little more to get the 34-year-old Balfour, as it's unlikely that they would pick up all of his 2012 salary ($4 million).
A prospect like Ravel Santana could suffice, or a package of Adams and Corban Joseph could interest the A's.