The Yankees throughout last season saw young kids step up in the bullpen. Rookies like Dave Robertson, Phil Coke, Jose Veras, Alfredo Aceves, Dan Geise, and Edwar Ramirez (said to have one of the best change ups in the game!) really showed that they could have an impact on the success of the team. More experienced players like Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, and the great Mariano Rivera round out the 'pen. Bruney, Rivera, and Coke all threw up ERAs under 2 (Bruney- 1.83 in 32 Games, Coke- .62 in 12 games, Rivera- 1.40 in 64). Only one of the other pitchers had an ERA over 4 (Dave Robertson). All of these pitchers, except Marte and Rivera, are under 30 years old, which is a huge plus. With the exception of Rivera and Marte, every single one of those pitchers is earning under 1 Million Dollars (Rivera- 3 Years 45 mil, Marte- 3 years 12 mil), which is absolutely fantastic. According to my calculations, the bullpen as a whole had an ERA of 3.01 (Error- I used Marte's whole season, excluded Joba Chamberlain's and Kyle Farnsworth's stats) For a 'pen with 7/9 under 30, that is very good.
The fact that these rookies and other young guns compiled this low ERA should make fans very very excited for the future. Mariano Rivera, the best closer in the game, is their "teacher" and they will get loads of guidance from him (and Marte, another established vet). Hopefully, they will only continue to get better. The fact that all of these guys are young will also contribute to the durability of the pen as a whole.
Another positive about the 'pen is the fact that it is so inexpensive. The entire Yankee bullpen is only 5 or 6 mil more (very rough estimate) than the two big 'pen pickups by the Mets (K-Rod, Putz). With 7/9 guys earning under 1 mil, the Yankees can put their money towards other efforts (see CC Sabathia).
I was very pleased last year with the success of the bullpen. With all of the people returning from last year, I am confident that they will continue to improve as a unit. A solid bullpen is very important (See New York Mets) and I think that we have that, and it will only continue to improve.