The negotiations are over. Mark Melancon, drafted by the Yankees in the 9th round of this year's draft, has signed on. He made his first appearance as part of the Yankees organization last night for the Staten Island Yankees and pitched an inning in relief, giving up one hit and racking up one strikeout.

Melancon put up some great numbers in college. Mark is the University of Arizona's career saves leader with 18 but was limited to a career-low 39 1/3 innings last season. He missed the last seven weeks of the season with an elbow injury (on his throwing arm). Still, before he went down, he was arguably the best college reliever in the country. He fell in the draft due to those injury concerns but the Yankees were quick to scoop him up. Let's hope he continues to be healthy and that we see him promoted as aggressively as J.B. Cox.

Given the chance, he (ERA: Mid-2008?) & Cox (ERA: 2nd half 2007) will be a great luxury for the Yankees bullpen and though I don't want to think about it, there's a good chance one of them will be the successor to Mariano.