With Betances, Bombers Set To Have Nasty Righty-Lefty Combo At Back End Of Bullpen

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Yankees plan on shortening games next season.

The Bombers announced Friday they had reached an agreement on a four-year, $36 million contract with stud reliever Andrew Miller.

The move gives the Yankees a dangerous combination at the back end of their bullpen, with nasty right-hander Dellin Betances, who is coming off a brilliant rookie season, joining forces with Miller, one of the premier left-handed relievers in baseball.

“He’s clearly a guy who used to be a No. 1 pick starter who found his niche in Major League Baseball as a reliever in a set-up situation. We thought there was a lot of value in this,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Friday afternoon. “(Miller) diversifies us, gives us choices, protects us and we didn’t have to give up a draft pick to attain (him).”

Miller is coming off a tremendous 2014 season in which he pitched to a 2.02 ERA with 17 walks and 103 strikeouts in 62 1-3 innings for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles.

Since becoming a full-time reliever in 2012, Miller, the former No. 6 overall pick in the amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers in 2006, has pitched to a 2.56 ERA over 133 1-3 innings, a far cry from his career 4.91 ERA that was largely inflated by early struggles as a starter.

The Red Sox traded Miller last season in a salary dump and the 29-year-old southpaw went on to pitch to a 1.35 ERA in 23 appearances for the Orioles.

The move might mean the end of the Yankees’ pursuit of closer David Robertson, as it is assumed the flexibility of having both Betances and Miller will allow Yankees manager Joe Girardi to play the matchup game in the later innings. However, there have been reports suggesting the Yankees have not ruled out the idea of re-signing Robertson, who had 39 saves and a 3.08 ERA last season, as well.

“I don’t know. I think we will continue to evaluate all potential possibilities that present themselves over the winter,” Cashman said of the possibility of re-signing Robertson.

The deal with Miller capped an active day for the Yankees. Earlier, they acquired shortstop Didi Gregorious in a three-team trade involving the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers.

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