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To Keep or Not to Keep: Chad Green

by Ethan Semendinger

June 28, 2021


Over the next month as we begin to approach the 2021 Trade Deadline season, Ethan will be taking you through most of the Yankees MLB talent (including those on the IL) and his give opinions on what he would do if he ran the team and on what the Yankees will likely do.

Today we’ll be discussing Chad Green.

MLB Postseason/Division/WS Odds for the New York Yankees (2021): Preseason: Fangraphs – 91.3%/71.0%/17.5% BBRef – 84.0%/63.1%/11.8% 538 – 83%/60%/14% On June 14th: Fangraphs – 44.5%/14.4%/5.7% BBRef – 19.3%/0.9%/0.8% 538 – 37%/8%/3%#Yankees #StartSpreadingtheNews — Start Spreading The News (@NYY_Report) June 14, 2021

Understanding This Series:

At the beginning of this series, the Yankees currently sit with a 33-32 record, are 4th in the AL East (8.5 GB of the Rays), and are 6th in the AL Wild Card race (4 GB of the Astros). If they want to win 93 games this season (what they’d likely need for a wild card spot) they’ll have to play .618 baseball, a winning percentage of which just 2 teams (Rays and White Sox) are currently playing at. In this series we’re not believing that the Yankees, under their current roster construction and self-inflicted restrictions, have a shot at the playoffs. Thus, we’re looking at the 2021 Trade Deadline as a place to sell and to look towards 2022 and the future for this team.

Chad Green Background:

Coming over to the Yankees in December of 2015 from the Detroit Tigers (along with Luis Cessa) in a deal for Justin Wilson, at the time the Yankees were hoping that one of the two players they picked up would be a back-end starter. But, while it didn’t work out that way, the Yankees did still get a solid player in Chad Green (and recently also Luis Cessa, but we’re not talking about him today).

In 2016 the Yankees tried Green as a long-reliever/spot starter which wasn’t met with much success (4.73 ERA) and so in 2017 and 2018 they let him air it out in the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever where he did much better (2.18 ERA). However, they then got the “try him as a starter again” bug in 2019 and saw Green’s ERA balloon back again after 15 unsuccessful starts. They would move him back to the bullpen where he was able to salvage his season with a 4.17 ERA (106 ERA+).

The past two years Green has continued his excellence as a reliever in the bullpen, pitching to a combined:

2.88 ERA (3.68 FIP; 148 ERA+), 54 Games (10 Finished), a WHIP of 0.807, 72 Strikeouts (9.9 K/9), and 16 Walks (2.2 BB/9).

Green was a failed experiment in the starting rotation (as are many Yankees pitching prospects) but he did show the Yankees know how to build a bullpen. Green has been one of the best in baseball during his career as a reliever and is incredibly underrated outside of Yankees circles given the lack of a closer-status thanks to the vets he’s had to compete against over his career (Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Andrew Milller, etc).

What I’d Do and What the Yankees Will Do:

Under contract through the end of 2021 with his 3rd year of arbitration incoming, Green not only has value as a proven reliever (when he’s allowed to just be a reliever) but he also comes with an extra year of retention for a team looking for a cheap and solid back-end reliever. (Of which most every playoff team would desire.)

To me, this seems like an obvious move to be made to help the Yankees build for the future. It would be a move reminiscent of 2016 to help provide a good young crop of close players to the MLB for the Yankees. (Although, with hopefully better results.) However, unfortunately this is the way in which the Yankees have to think going forward.

With contracts like Giancarlo Stanton, Gerrit Cole eating up over $50 Million per year alone, the Yankees are dependent on having cheap talent to fill out the team. Currently they’re crop of talent in entering their last years of arbitration and is bringing payroll too high for them to be able to work with. This has led to a lack of good depth and a higher dependency on getting Quad-A type players to help.

The time to sell Chad Green is now. The Yankees aren’t going to compete this year, and will likely not be able to next year either. But, will the Yankees sell him? Likely not.

I can’t see the Yankees selling a guy with multiple cheap years (even if just 2) remaining on his contract, no matter how good of a return he could get. I believe Cashman thinks he has a championship-caliber team (he doesn’t) and will try everything he can to maintain it for the 2022 season. It’s going to be another move the Yankees should’ve made when we look back in a few years, and I’m saying now that they should be making it happen.


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Start Spreading the News is the place for some of the very best analysis and insight focusing primarily on the New York Yankees.

(Please note that we are not affiliated with the Yankees and that the news, perspectives, and ideas are entirely our own.)


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