Matt Krook, LHP
Stolen from the Rays and stashed on the back portion of the Yankees' 40-man roster, Matt Krook is the latest project who could potentially fill an Opening Day role in the Luetge/Bañuelos mold if the Yanks are blown away by his contributions.
If not? More time at Triple-A is hardly a punishment for Krook, whose 40-man spot means he's a baked-in favorite to be this summer's Scranton Shuttle guy, considering he hasn't used a single big-league option yet.
The 28-year-old went 10-7 with a pedestrian 4.09 ERA last season at Triple-A, but most notably struck out a large number of batters, whiffing 155 in 138.2 innings. In 2021, his first year in the organization, things went even better; Krook split time at Double-A and Triple-A, whiffing 132 in 106 innings pitched, posting a 2.89 ERA.
No matter who you believe it'll be, the one thing Yankees reporters seem to agree on is that a mystery name like Luetge will sneak up on everyone in the bullpen competition. There will naturally be attrition. Someone will get dinged up. The riser could be Greg Weissert and his frisbee slider after he flashed plus stuff last fall. NJ.com's Randy Miller thinks it'll be ex-Seattle farmhand Nick Ramirez and his left-handed slider.
Our bet's on Krook and his sweeping breaker, considering he's already got the 40-man spot.