Adam Ottavino doesn’t want to become Yankees’ cash casualty

With Hal Steinbrenner talking publicly about the economic beating his 2020 Yankees took, the team very likely will cut its payroll for next season.

Adam Ottavino hopes he doesn’t become a casualty of such a slash.

“I want to stay on the team. I want to prove my worth. I want to pitch well,” the reliever told The Post on Wednesday, as he joined the Players Alliance for an event in Brooklyn, where he grew up. “I want to finish what we tried to start these last few years and win that title and all that.

“It’s not up to me. So I don’t pay attention to any of that, really.”

There hasn’t been much “that” for Ottavino to follow besides the realities of the Yankees’ fiscal pain, Ottavino’s $9 million salary for next season and the right-hander’s painful 2020. The 35-year-old posted a 5.89 ERA in 24 games during the COVID-shortened season and pitched only once during the Yankees’ brief playoff existence, allowing a run to the Rays in American League Division Series Game 2.

“For me, it wasn’t good enough. Wasn’t consistent enough,” Ottavino said. “It was short. I would’ve liked to have more time. I think I finished OK — had 10 strikeouts and one walk at the end there [in his final seven outings]. Playoffs, it sucks not to get a chance. But I’m not the manager. My job is to make it undeniable [for the manager to go to him].”

Adam Ottavino
Adam Ottavino
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Ottavino’s 3.52 FIP indicates that he didn’t pitch as poorly as his surface numbers show, and half of the 12 runs he allowed came from one hellacious outing, Sept. 7 in Buffalo against the Blue Jays (six runs, no outs). “I have the one game that will live in infamy for me forever,” Ottavino said.

He has been in touch with Yankees manager Aaron Boone and pitching coach Matt Blake about moving ahead to 2021.

“I have a good plan looking forward,” he said. “I like where I’m at.”

He meant that in the literal sense, too. As part of the Players Alliance’s “Pull Up Neighbor” initiative, Ottavino helped pass out items of need to the community around Coney Island.

“I just think it’s great. It’s important,” he said. “I’m glad that they did it. Just want to support it anyway I can. I’m a big fan of what they’re doing. It’s important to have black people in baseball, helping their communities. All of that. What’s not to like?”

Looking back on how the Yankees and Nationals displayed their support for social justice in the season opener at Nationals Park, the two squads kneeling en masse for a minute before the playing of the national anthem, Ottavino said, “It hurt my heart that it was even a decision. I felt like there was a lot of pressure on the team because we were the first team to play and trying to figure out what to do. You waited that long to play that first game. [We were] just trying to make sure we got it right. I still don’t know if we did or not, but we were just trying to do something good.”

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