With both of the locals in need of bullpen help, Newsday’s Jon Heyman take a harsh view of their failure to select St. Johns’ Craig Hansen in June’s amateur draft.

What a shame both the Mets and Yankees passed on Glen Cove’s closer extraordinaire Craig Hansen, especially now that Hansen may be saving Boston’s beaten-down bullpen.

With Hansen throwing 97 mph after his quick ascension, there’s second-guessing especially over the Yankees’ pick, Oklahoma prep shortstop C.J. Henry, well-regarded but years from the bigs. Hansen could have spelled well-worn Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera and perhaps eventually become Rivera’s successor. The Yankees and most others are shocked at Hansen’s speedy signing and promotion.

“If he shoves the bats down the Yankees’ throats, their owner’s going to go nuts,” one scout predicted. “How they could have passed on this kid, I have no idea. Hansen stands right at the top of pitching prospects I’ve seen. And he proved he can start, too.”

Oddly enough, word circulated throughout Yankees offices days before the draft they’d buck their history of not spending on American amateurs and Tampa-based decision-makers would take Hansen should he fall to No. 17. In the end, they signed Henry for $1.575 million, 60 percent less than Hansen ($4 million) signed for. “We try to toe the line a little bit,” One Yankees person explained.

“The reality is, Boston got a bargain. The teams that passed have to spend $3 million a year to find a reliever. Boston got Hansen for four years at $4 million total,” agent Scott Boras said.

Hansen didn’t feature in Boston’s 9-3 win over Baltimore on Sunday, a result that maintained the Red Sox’ tie atop the AL East with New York. David Wells picked up his 14th win, meaning the Sultan Of Sloth has a shot at finishing ’05 with as many wins as Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson.