Unfortunately, it cost them the left-handed Zack Britton in exchange.
Whether a legitimate injury or not (it’s probably not a phantom stint…right?), Britton will head to the injured list with a left elbow sprain, retroactive to the last time he appeared on Aug. 20.
Coincidentally — and frustratingly — that outing came on Friday against Minnesota in a 6-3 game in the eighth. Despite deflecting a grounder back to the mound and getting two-out victimized by Jorge Polanco, the lefty largely looked himself in an efficient inning.
Now, it’s right back to the drawing board.
Britton, for the third time this season and hopefully while nursing the least-severe injury of the three, has become the Yankees’ latest casualty.
Yankees: Zack Britton heads to IL, Clay Holmes returns
If Holmes had to return this week and there hadn’t been a Britton injury, who knows what the corresponding move would’ve been? The bullpen’s stacked at the moment, as even Albert Abreu has made himself indispensable. Wandy Peralta and Joely Rodriguez aren’t going anywhere. Luis Gil keeps getting yo-yo’d for the very same reason, and isn’t on the active roster.
Perhaps Britton’s barking elbow has been responsible for his lack of control, but without this out clause, we’re really not sure what the Yankees would’ve done here. Demote Andrew Velazquez?
Jonathan Davis, meanwhile, comes up seemingly so he can be easy fodder for the next time a roster issue arises. For now, he’s Brett Gardner insurance, as the lefty continues to battle soreness from a hit by pitch. When Gio Urshela returns, he’ll likely be the next man down instead.
But when Gleyber Torres comes back? Corey Kluber? Luis Severino, in theory? Then, the Yankees will have to make some extremely difficult decisions, many of which will probably revolve around Andrew Heaney.
Also, our condolences to Miguel Andújar, who was moved to the 60-Day IL in the shadows of these machinations. We’re not sure why it hasn’t worked out in the Bronx, but it’s likely time to move on there, too. At the lowest possible value.