Sure, the New York Yankees had already signed a pitcher in Mark Prior, however let’s not count that. The Prior deal is a minor league contract. After losing out on Cliff Lee, the Yankees appeared as though they would focus on improving their bullpen.
Signing Pedro Feliciano is a step in the right direction. Left handed batters hit just .211 against the left handed pitcher last season when Feliciano was a member of the New York Mets bullpen.
The 34 year old did not allow a home run in 139 matchups against left handed batters. The Yankees needed a reliever that can come out of the bullpen and get a tough lefty out. With the Boston Red Sox having lefties David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford in their lineup, Feliciano should be very important for New York.
Feliciano led the National League in appearances the past three seasons, all with the Mets. The durable pitcher finished the 2010 season with a 3.30 ERA in 62 2/3 innings.
There should be no need for an adjustment to pitching in New York as Feliciano is very familiar with it and likes pitching here.
The Rockies, Red Sox, and Phillies had interest in Feliciano before he agreed to sign the two year, $9 million deal with the Yankees. The contract will also include an option for 2013.
Now that the left handed reliever role is satisfied, the Yankees will likely focus on finding an adequate starting pitchers, right handed reliever, as well as a right handed hitting outfielder.