Have a seat, Yankees fans. Please remove all nearby objects that are throwable and smashable. We’re once again broaching the Garrett Whitlock conversation that will never, ever go away as long as he’s still succeeding with the Boston Red Sox after leaving New York.
Here are the spark notes: Whitlock wasn’t protected on the 40-man roster last year, with guys like Brooks Kriske and Nick Nelson, both of whom have since been released, getting the nod over the right-hander. The reason was due to Whitlock coming off Tommy John … but that didn’t stop the Red Sox from taking their chances.
Whitlock made his MLB debut in 2021 with Boston and ended up being the missing bullpen piece the Yankees needed after losing Adam Ottavino (another Red Sox move), Zack Britton and Luis Cessa. He finished with a sterling 1.96 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.84 FIP and 81 strikeouts in 46 games (73.1 innings). You’ve gotta be f……
It served as one of about 23 reasons Red Sox fans had to laugh in Yankees fans’ faces last year, and though many would like to admit they’re numb to the pain, it was brutal.
To make matters a tad worse, Whitlock caught up with the Boston Globe last week as the MLB lockout drags on to talk a little baseball. Oh, and there was a Yankees nugget in there, of course.
He was asked about New York’s decision to leave him off the 40-man roster last year just for the sake of opening old wounds, we guess.
Garrett Whitlock wasn’t exactly thrilled to leave the Yankees for the Red Sox.
"“I wouldn’t say I was pissed. There’s a little bit of disappointment and everything. Like, dang, that would have been nice. But at the same time, I also understood I was coming off Tommy John. I didn’t take it personally or anything.”"
Disappointed. Yup, just like us. Not that Yankees fans knew Whitlock would be an ace-like reliever, but many knew there were some questionable pitchers being held on to in favor of him that just didn’t sit right.
And the fact the Red Sox discovered Whitlock on Instagram, liked what they saw, and decided to use a Rule 5 selection on him? That’s why we told you to remove nearby objects … because the desk lamp was about to exit stage right.
He could be one of the most successful Rule 5 picks EVER. And he had a 2.9 bWAR, if we’re counting that, too. And a 2.16 postseason ERA in 8.1 innings against the Yankees, Rays and Astros (though New York dinged him for a run in his one inning of work).
New York could’ve probably avoided the one-game Wild Card Game in Boston if he was a Yank. Can’t deny that.