Jim Mone/Associated Press
It's very likely that the New York Yankees sign one of the top four starters available, giving a huge boost to a rotation that appear shaky at best right now. While this would be a huge improvement for the 25-man roster, the question remains as to who will be holding leads for them late in the game.
Currently, David Robertson is slated to replace the legendary Mariano Rivera, who retired after the 2013 season. The last time Robertston stepped into the closer's role was when Rivera suffered a season-ending knee injury.
He loaded the bases before nailing down the save in his first opportunity. The next day, he entered with a 1-0 lead and a chance to save his second consecutive game. He left with a 4-1 deficit after recording just two outs. Closing duties were handed over to Rafael Soriano, who was able to handle the job.
Still, Robertson could be perfectly fine in his second go-around as the team's closer. He might even be better prepared than any other pitcher they can bring in, considering he's held so many late-inning leads in high-pressure situations in front of a Yankees crowd that could be quite hostile if he struggled.
But if Robertson is closing games, who is getting him the ball in the ninth inning? As of now, that would be Shawn Kelley, who had an impressive 12.0 K/9 rate while allowing only 10 percent of inherited runners to score. It's the same deal as with Robertson, though: Even if he's capable of stepping into a role with which he's not very familiar, someone has to capably replace him. Those options appear to be few and far between for the Yankees.
They need another late-inning reliever and there aren't many more available who'd be willing to fill a non-closer role. Whether they're comfortable with Robertson and Kelley or not, the best bet to solidify the bullpen is signing Grant Balfour or Fernando Rodney (pictured), the best remaining relievers on the market.
If one of them happens to sign with the Washington Nationals—Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that they were in the mix for Balfour—the Yankees could then try and trade for Drew Storen.
Regardless of how much talent the Yankees have throughout their roster, things can get ugly if the late-inning relief crew struggles. Signing Rodney would allow Robertson and Kelley to remain in the roles they thrived in last season.