No, not that one. The other one.
While the Adam Ottavino trade was the highest-profile linkup between the two squads prior to 2021, Boston actually fleeced the Yanks far more spectacularly in the Rule 5 draft, nabbing an unprotected Garrett Whitlock partially because of how strong he looked on Instagram. He’s rewarded their faith with 70.2 innings of 1.92-ERA baseball.
Though it’d be unfair to characterize it as a one-for-one swap, the Yankees did manage to protect Brooks Kriske instead, who posted a 15.26 ERA this season and was finally cut this week in favor of Sal Romano, who deflected a baseball with his bare hand and left with an injury one-third of an inning later. I’m not bitter.
If the Yanks want to avoid the insanity of making the same mistake twice, though (who wouldn’t?!), they should already be looking at ways to make sure they can nestle Ron Marinaccio onto their 40-man roster this offseason and protect him.
Isn’t that why they jettisoned all those fringe 40-man guys for Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo, anyway?
Yankees relief prospect Ron Marinaccio could be the next Garrett Whitlock.
Just look at that superhuman changeup! The pitch is also Whitlock’s calling card, and the similarities here could not be more stark.
If you loved substitute teacher Stephen Ridings when he was promoted earlier this summer — and who didn’t? — you’re really going to love Marinaccio if and when he gets a chance, too.
The 26-year-old holds a 1.82 ERA this season across multiple levels, finding an almost identical level of success at both Double-A (1.82) and Triple-A (1.83). He’s struck out a remarkable 94 men in 59.1 innings, while limiting base runners to the tune of an 0.88 WHIP.
He’s also rubbed elbows with the greats.
Whitlock was a bit more familiar to Yankee fans when he was swiped because of his pedigree; the ex-starter was a mid-range prospect with the Bombers prior to his Tommy John surgery, and that procedure was the only real reason our hopes had collectively dimmed. Marinaccio, on the other hand, came out of relative obscurity, posting a 4.18 ERA at Charleston in 2019 in his only taste of full-season ball after being drafted out of Delaware in the 19th round back in 2017.
Whatever it was, something clicked during the pandemic-canceled 2020 season for Marinaccio. We’re not saying he’s an absolute guarantee to make an immediate impact at the MLB level like Whitlock did for our chief rivals in 2021, but you simply cannot take that chance again with arm talent like this.