Who Will Be the Yankees Closer This Season?

The New York Yankees have yet to name a closer for the 2019 season, and it’s anyone’s guess who will ultimately get the job. We break down the candidates and make our prediction for who will be the Yankees closer this season.

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Aroldis Chapman

The New York Yankees have one of the most dominant bullpen’s in baseball. They have many arms they can go to in the late innings, but who will be their main closer? Aroldis Chapman is the obvious choice. He is one of the best closers in the game and has been dominant since he came into the league. Let’s take a closer look at Aroldis Chapman and see if he is the best option for the Yankees this season.


There are several reasons why Aroldis Chapman is the best option for the Yankees closer this season. First, Chapman is one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. He has a career ERA of 2.21 and he has averaged 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. In addition, Chapman has experience closing games, as he has recorded 146 saves in his career.

Chapman is also a left-handed pitcher, which is important because the Yankees currently have a predominantly right-handed pitching staff. Having a left-handed pitcher like Chapman will help to balance things out and give the Yankees another weapon to use late in games.

Finally, Chapman is simply more trustworthy than any other option the Yankees have. He has been with the team for four seasons now and he has proven time and time again that he can get the job done when called upon. For all of these reasons, Aroldis Chapman is the best choice to be the Yankees closer this season.


Although Chapman has been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball over the past few years, he does have some drawbacks. First and foremost, he is a bit of a head case. Chapman has been involved in multiple altercations, both on and off the field. In 2015, he was suspended for 30 games after allegedly choking his girlfriend. While Chapman has never been convicted of any crime, his temperamental nature is definitely a concern.

Another potential con is that Chapman is getting older. He will turn 32 in February and, although he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, it’s possible that his age could start to catch up with him at some point.

Finally, Chapman is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season. The Yankees will have to decide whether to try to sign him to a long-term extension or let him walk away in favor of someone younger and cheaper.

Dellin Betances

The New York Yankees have one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball, and that is in large part due to Dellin Betances. The 6’8″ right-hander has been one of the most effective relievers in baseball over the last few years, and he looks to be the Yankees’ closer this season.


-He has closing experience, having saved 20+ games in 2014 and 2015
-He has an above average fastball and a good curveball
-He strikes out a lot of batters (10.5 K/9 in 2016)
-He’s had success against lefties and righties throughout his career


Though Betances has the pitching repertoire to be a starting pitcher, his plus fastball-slider combination is better suited out of the bullpen, which is where he’s pitched exclusively since 2014. In his career as a reliever, he has a 2.36 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings. As a starter, those numbers jump to 4.35 and 1.38, respectively, with just 9.9 K/9.

Zach Britton

The New York Yankees have not had an official closer since Mariano Rivera retired in 2013. They have had many pitchers share the role, but none have been able to fill the shoes of Rivera. This season, the Yankees have brought in Zach Britton to be their closer. Britton has been one of the best closers in the past few years and the Yankees are hoping he can help them win a World Series.


Zach Britton has been one of the best relievers in baseball over the past few years. He’s coming off a season in which he had a 2.88 ERA and converted all 47 of his save opportunities. Britton is also a two-time All-Star and was named American League Reliever of the Year in 2016.


Britton has been an All-Star and a dominant force out of the bullpen, but he is entering his age-32 season and coming off an Achilles injury that cut his 2018 campaign short. Britton will likely need some time to regain his form, which could open the door for another reliever to seize the closer’s role in the early part of the season.


It is still too early to tell who the Yankees closer will be this season. There are a few pitchers who are in the running for the job, but it has not been announced who the team has decided on. The Yankees have a lot of talent on their pitching staff, so whoever is chosen for the closer role will have big shoes to fill.

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