Yankees sign old friend Adam Warren to a two-year minor league deal

On Monday the Yankees reportedly signed RHP Adam Warren to a two-year minor league deal. This will be Warren’s third stint with the organization after being drafted by New York back in 2009.

Warren is back with the Yankees but it’s unlikely we’re going to see him pitch in pinstripes next season. Last September he underwent Tommy John surgery while he was a member of the San Diego Padres so he’s likely going to miss the entire 2020 season. Prior to the injury, Warren struggled in 2019, going 4-1 with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 28.2 IP.

The 32-year-old will spend the season rehabbing his way back from injury but not as a player on the 40-man roster. This is a minor league deal so Warren will probably spend most of his time at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa.

If Warren can come back healthy this could turn out to be a very low-risk, high reward move by the Yanks based on his track record during his first two stints in the Bronx. In parts of seven seasons as a Yankee, Warren has a career ERA of 3.18 in 407 innings pitched. In small stints with the Cubs, Mariners, and Padres over the past three seasons he has a combined ERA of 5.17 in 85.1 IP.

For whatever reason Warren is clearly much more comfortable pitching in New York and by the time the 2021 season rolls around, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the Yankee bullpen. You can never have too much relief pitching and when Warren is right he’s proven to be a very valuable arm because of his versatility.

Considering how this move was made to potentially help the Yankees in 2021 and not 2020 it will be interesting to see if GM Brian Cashman still adds another reliever by the end of the offseason. Right now it doesn’t look like Dellin Betances is going to be back given his price tag and the rest of the free-agent relief market isn’t very strong so if they do it could be via trade.

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The Yanks bullpen is already one of the best in baseball whether they add another reliever or not so maybe they’ll stand pat. Assuming everyone enters spring training healthy there might be only one spot up for grabs in next year’s pen. That could be an open competition between guys like Jonathan Holder, Ben Heller, Chance Adams, and Stephen Tarpley.