Yankees give up on Stephen Tarpley by trading him to Marlins
Following the finalization of Brett Gardner’s one-year deal, the Yankees designated left-handed reliever, Stephen Tarpley, for assignment. Rather than subjecting him to waivers, the club found a willing trade partner in the Marlins.
Hey, what do you know, there’s baseball news that doesn’t revolve around a cheating scandal. Although nowhere near as Earth-shattering as the recent drama that has vacated three managerial positions in Houston, Boston and Queens, this week, the Yankees traded left-handed relief pitcher Stephen Tarpley to the Marlins.
After re-signing veteran outfielder Brett Gardner a one-year, $12 million contract, the Yanks DFA’d Tarpley to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
While the 26-year-old former third-round pick by the Orioles will get a fresh start in Miami, he failed to capitalize on a promising 2018 season at both Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
Across 69.2 innings, Tarpley went 7-2 with a 1.94 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, .168 BAA and a 71:26 K:BB ratio — not to mention, his career minor league ground ball rates are north of 60 percent.
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However, when Tarpley was called upon to pitch in the majors last season, he proved his slider, sinker, four-seam fastball repertoire, was still a work in progress.
In 21 games (24.2 IP) for the Yankees, Tarpley allowed 34 hits and 19 earned runs, including six long balls — walked 15 and threw five wild pitches, culminating in a horrendous 6.93 ERA, 1.986 WHIP and 5.69 FIP.
Although opponents batted a robust .330 against him, Tarpley did manage to strikeout 34 men (12.4 K/9), leading many to believe that the Arizona native still had a place in the Yanks’ farm system. However, the powers that be had seen enough.
In return, the Yankees receive minor league third baseman James Nelson, plus $50,000, payable on Feb. 15.
Nelson, a 15th round draft pick out of Cisco College in 2016, quickly gained acclaim in the Marlins’ minor league system, when at 19, he slashed .309/.354/.456 with seven home runs, 31 doubles and three triples for Low-A Greensboro.
Unfortunately, it’s been mostly downhill for the 22-year-old since then. Coming off of consecutive seasons in which his statistics have taken a dive, it’s hard to envision Nelson as anything more than Double-A depth.
In 183 games at High-A Jupiter (only 62 games played in ’18), Nelson slashed .222/.273/.290 with 23 doubles, six home runs, 64 RBIs and a 155:43 K:BB ratio.