Yankees: NYY sign former A’s lefty with surprisingly good numbers
By Adam Weinrib
The Yankees announced on Thursday that they’ve signed former A’s lefty Ryan Buchter and sent him to the Alternate Site.
The Yankees need all the bullpen help they can get for the final three weeks of the 2020 season, as long as that bullpen help is not named Luis Avilan.
Luckily, the franchise took a step in that direction on Thursday — even though the move was officially made on … Monday? And the player is still a few steps removed from being available to the big league club? We’re as confused as you are.
The Yankees announced on Thursday that they’d signed former A’s lefty reliever Ryan Buchter, most recently of the Angels when the 2020 season began, to a minor-league deal.
He hasn’t earned a 40-man roster spot yet, meaning it won’t be easy to import him to the active roster, and will be on the 60-man training at the Alternate Site for the moment, serving as insurance.
As a first step in getting us to forgive him for his inaction at the deadline, Brian Cashman did well here; Buchter had been a surprisingly dominant presence for quite a while in Oakland.
The 33-year-old has never posted an ERA above 3.00 in four full seasons of MLB action, topping out at 2.98 last season for the AL Wild Card-participating A’s, whiffing 50 in 41.1 innings pitched.
This season, Buchter was with the Angels for the month of August, and struggled to adjust to the new reality of the three-batter minimum, a difficult change for any same-side reliever. In six innings pitched, he posted a 4.50 mark.
It’s unclear how Buchter will be able to impact the 2020 Yankees roster — after all, the team acted like giving Clarke Schmidt a 40-man roster spot was like pulling teeth.
But if they’re unable to find a match this time around, Buchter seems like an excellent candidate to remain in the Yankees’ system next season and begin the campaign with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The numbers don’t lie. He’s been an extremely effective and consistent lefty for the past four seasons in San Diego and Oakland, and certainly brings more pedigree to the Scranton Shuttle than, say, Tyler Lyons did in 2019.