The Yankees may be coming out of their slumber, emerging Monday as a suitor for top reliever Andrew Miller, a development that could signal the end of a longstanding relationship with closer David Robertson.
A source confirmed the Yankees' interest in Miller, which was first reported by ESPN. No agreement is close, according to the source, which comes as little surprise considering the market for him. But according to multiple reports, he is expected to make a decision soon.
The deep-pocketed Dodgers reportedly are among several teams with interest in Miller. An industry source confirmed that the Astros have contacted Miller and Robertson, who is a free agent after successfully replacing Mariano Rivera as the Yankees' closer. Miller and Robertson could be positioned for lucrative four-year deals.
General manager Brian Cashman has maintained that the Yankees want to bring back Robertson, arguably the best reliever available on the market.
If Robertson were to sign elsewhere, the Yankees would receive a draft pick as compensation because they made him a qualifying offer. In that case, they could sign Miller as a replacement. He could be paired with Dellin Betances, whose breakout 2014 season might put him in line for closing duties.
Robertson, 29, converted 39 of 44 save chances with a 3.08 ERA in his first season as the closer. He declined a one-year, $15.3-million qualifying offer to test the free-agent waters in search of a multiyear deal.
According to a CBSSports.com report, he already has attracted a three-year, $39-million offer from an undisclosed team, and the Yankees might have reservations about offering a four-year contract.
Miller, 29, has established himself as a premier reliever. With the Red Sox and Orioles last season, the 6-7 lefthander had a 2.02 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 62 1/3 innings. Though he's primarily been a setup man, Miller could wind up being paid more like a closer.
The Mets also need a lefty out of the bullpen, but Miller is out of their price range. They have reached out to most of the other lefthanded relief options on the market, a source said, though no deals are close to materializing.
With the non-tender deadline looming at 11:59 Tuesday, Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. could wind up not being offered a contract, according to a source. Shortstop Ruben Tejada also could be a candidate to be non-tendered, though he appears to be at less risk.
Young is arbitration-eligible and is expected to make more than $2 million next season. But the Mets already have comparable options in Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Matt den Dekker.
For the Yankees, relievers Esmil Rogers and David Huff appear most likely to be non-tendered.
Calling all coats
In conjunction with New York Cares, the Mets will hold their annual coat drive Wednesday at Citi Field. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., fans can exchange gently used coats for a voucher good for two tickets and a 15-percent discount at the team store. Coats can be dropped off at the Mets' team store next to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Parking will be made available in Lot G.