On Wednesday evening, the Yankees signed former Braves and Rockies right-handed pitcher David Hale to a minor league contract.
With reports swirling that free agent starter Yu Darvish is waiting to see if the Yankees or Dodgers can clear enough salary to appease his lofty contract demands, general manager Brian Cashman decided that less is more.
Cashman is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to signing veterans to minor league, no strings attached deals. First, there was Erik Kratz, then Jace Peterson, followed by Danny Espinosa and now right-handed shooter David Hale.
Hale, 30, split time last year at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City, part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ organization.
Over the course of the 2017 minor league season, Hale compiled a 5-4 record, 4.66 ERA, 1.396 WHIP and 60:14 K:BB ratio, across 81.2 innings.
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The 2009 third round draft pick by his hometown Braves — Hale made his major league debut in 2013, appearing in a career-high 45 games the following season.
Hale’s repertoire consists of four pitches — including his go-to 90 mph sinker, 80 mph slider and secondary four-seam fastball and changeup.
For his career, Hale is 10-10 with a 4.48 ERA, 1.461 WHIP and 15.3% strikeout rate in 178.2 innings pitched.
Should Hale make the big league team out of Spring Training, he’ll earn $600,000 — though that seems like a longshot at this point.
The Yankees already boast a formidable bullpen and will likely rely on Adam Warren and Chad Green once again to fill the long-relief role.
Should an injury occur in the Bronx, Hale could be in consideration to eat up innings — although in my opinion, Chance Adams deserves the first shot at solidifying any needs that arise.
I’d also like to see Ben Heller and his electric stuff get a legit shot to prove his worth in the ‘pen.
And don’t forget, the Yanks still have Luis Cessa and his frequent flyer miles to bounce between New York and Pennsylvania.
Expect Hale to fill an open rotation slot at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and little else.