As has been the habit of New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman in recent years, he’s going the route of adding starting pitching depth on the cheap, by offering fringe starters minor league contracts with invitations to big league camp. Add another notch to Cashman’s belt, as today, the team announced a one-year deal with former Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals hurler, Kyle Davies.
Out of the bigs due to injury and ineffectiveness since 2011, the Yankees see Davies as the perfect depth option, one they hope pitches well enough to stay within the organization, and can be called upon at a moment’s notice for a spot start from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Davies joins recently signed former Twins’ starter, Scott Baker as the second minor league depth option since the start of last week.
Over his career, Davies has a 5.59 ERA and a record of 43-65, spanning seven seasons in the Show. With only 38 starts over the past two seasons, Davies was completely out of the game in 2012. Hopefully for the Yankees, the survival of their season and their starting rotation doesn’t come down to the performances of Baker and Davies, as four-fifths of the team’s starting rotation spent extended time on the disabled list in 2014, led by Ivan Nova (Tommy John surgery), C.C. Sabathia (knee surgery), Michael Pineda (should, back issues), and rookie Masahiro Tanaka (partial UCL tear).
Yankees fans may remember Kyle Davies for another reason: he was the starting pitcher who yielded what at the time, was considered a career milestone for beleaguered slugger Alex Rodriguez, giving up his 500th career home run. Rodriguez is now within six of tying Willie Mays on the all-time list at 660.
Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa in about nine days, and position players will report a week later. The exhibition season gets underway shortly after the start of March, against the Philadelphia Phillies.
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