NEW YORK (WFAN) — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi isn’t feeling pressure to name a closer. And he says it’s possible nobody will be set in that role when Opening Day comes around.
Girardi told WFAN’s Sweeny Murti on Tuesday that the Yankees would miss David Robertson, who agreed this week to sign with the Chicago White Sox on a four-year, $46 million deal. The 29-year-old was solid last season taking over the ninth inning from the retired Mariano Rivera.
New York opted not to make an offer to Robertson, confident in a bullpen that now boasts two towering hurlers: Dellin Betances from the right side and newly signed left-hander Andrew Miller.
“I think the important thing is that we have a very good bunch of arms down there,” Girardi told Murti from baseball’s winter meetings in San Diego. “We have guys that have the ability to get left-handers and right-handers out and to strike them out as well. So there’s going to be a lot of options.”
Those options — not limited to just Betances and Miller — could give Girardi the opportunity to experiment with a closer by committee. Could Shawn Kelley, Adam Warren or Justin Wilson also be called on in the ninth?
“I think guys like to know their roles,” Girardi said. “But maybe it’s not ironed out when we leave spring training. Maybe it takes a little bit of time, and maybe we have to sit down and tell (them), ‘This is how we’re gonna do it, so just be prepared, and I’ll try to give you an idea every day or every month if things are changing, or every week.’ I think that’s a possibility because of the arms that we have.”
Girardi reiterated he’s “not too worried” about who will take over for Robertson, if and when the team makes a final decision.
“This is a really good collection of arms. Guys that have power, swing-and-miss sliders, swing-and-miss curveballs, deception,” he said. “We’re going to have to iron it out. But that’s not a big concern for me right now.”