Orioles trade for Yankees' recently DFA'd lefty in potential revenge attempt

Aaron Hicks 2.0?
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Yankees, after months of toying with the move, finally cut bait on Matt Krook last week in order to claim former top Blue Jays pick Jordan Groshans.

Almost hilariously (but in a way that was, in fact, not funny at all), the team fell in love in recent weeks with high-strikeout relievers from other organizations who posted brutal big-league cameos in 2023 (Clayton Andrews, McKinley Moore) while ditching their incumbent version of the same pitcher in Krook.

The left-hander has racked up strikeouts at the Triple-A level in recent years after being thieved from the Rays (132 in 106 innings in 2021, 155 in 138 2/3 in 2022, 55 in 34 last season). Unfortunately, his Yankees debut was a blight last summer, and he continued to lose more and more footing with every appearance he made.

In total, he wraps his Yankees career with an eyesore 24.75 ERA totaling four separate outings.

And now (sigh), he goes to Baltimore, where the Orioles' broadcast network has already hyped up his whiff-inducing accomplishments. Clearly, they're tantalized. Hey, Krook's Yankees tenure was far worse than Aaron Hicks', and that worked out well in the land of Old Bay. Why not try for Round 2?

Yankees lose Matt Krook and his infuriatingly high strikeout numbers to Orioles

In Krook's early days in the Yankees' system, he felt like a high-ceiling lefty stolen from under the Rays' noses. After all, when you're a pitching factory, you can't possibly clear enough roster spots to keep every strikeout artist you develop. Tampa's loss seemed like the Yankees' gain. Unfortunately, something failed to click with Krook as a swingman; his erratic tendencies took over when his role was altered, especially at the big-league level.

There's always a chance that Mike Elias' machine finally gets the most out of Krook, leaving the Yankees looking silly as he fills in as rotation depth admirably in wake of Kyle Bradish's injury. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they need bullpen options they can count on this season, and can't afford to continue to take chances.

Kudos to New York for cutting bait on Krook before it was too late, but it's fair to wish he'd landed outside the AL East. Instead, he'll join Richard Fitts and Garrett Whitlock (Boston) among potential infuriating roadblocks in the division.