Yankees Trade Rumors: Rafael Betancourt Would Bolster New York's Bullpen

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJuly 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Rafael Betancourt #63 of the Colorado Rockies throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Despite the absence of Mariano Rivera, the New York Yankees still have one of the top bullpens in baseball.

Adding Colorado Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt would make the Yankees hard to beat.

Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post reported on Sunday that the Yankees were one of several teams vying for Betancourt before the trade deadline. 

I know what you're thinking. A 37-year-old Rockies pitcher, help the Yankees? Get outta here!

Well, unlike most of his fellow pitchers in Colorado, Betancourt can actually produce. The right-hander has pitched to the tune of a 2.92 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 37 innings for the Rockies this season. He also has converted 17 of 21 save opportunities.

Of course, the Yankees likely wouldn't make Betancourt their closer, given the job Rafael Soriano has done thus far, but Betancourt at least gives New York another arm to add to the mix. 

The Yankees already have a bullpen ERA of 3.17 this season, fourth-best in the majors. You plop Betancourt in there and you have a bullpen that can match up with some of the top offenses in baseball. There is no overstating how important that is come playoff time.

You also have to take into account Betancourt's production despite being in a hitter's park the past four seasons. He's apparently one of those ageless veterans who isn't disturbed by Father Time or the struggles of his team.

The American League East-leading Yankees are clearly one of the best teams in baseball this season. Adding Betancourt could push them over the top.

 

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