Pirates claim Yankees fans' least favorite reliever as Aroldis Chapman setup man

New York Yankees v San Diego Padres
New York Yankees v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

It's always sunnier outside the Bronx if you're a Yankees reliever who's fallen out of the circle of trust.

Two days after being DFA'd while carrying a 6.26 ERA, Dennis Santana has found out the hard way what other Yankees outcasts learned long ago: you're always welcome in Pittsburgh.

The Yankees have profited off the Pirates' roster several times in recent years, from the Jameson Taillon trade to the Clay Holmes swap, which will be taught in textbooks. On the flip side, Roansy Contreras is an Angel now and Aroldis Chapman, fresh off a World Series victory with the Rangers (as well as a bad tattoo with the Yankees), is lurking in the Buccos' bullpen.

He'll now be set up by Santana, who lost out to Michael Tonkin pretty plainly in a head-to-head battle.

Yankees lose reliever Dennis Santana to Pittsburgh Pirates

Ironically, the announcement came minutes after the Pirates revealed they'd signed Luis Cessa to a minor-league deal. It seems Pittsburgh is collecting former "final men in the Yankees bullpen" in spades.

While Santana's 2024 fastball velocity and chase rates indicated the potential for greatness, his sloppy middle-middle breakers and predictable struggles rarely hinted that a breakout was on the horizon. If Matt Blake and the Yankees couldn't find it, it's less likely the Pirates will, but at the very least, he'll probably get a longer runway on a Pittsburgh team that is somehow in the thick of Wild Card contention.

Oh, my God. It took until the midway point of this article until I realized Domingo Germán is currently also in the Pirates' system at Triple-A.

The Pirates are set up well at the back of the 'pen on Chapman's regularly scheduled non-meltdown nights, as Colin Holderman continues to pitch at an All-Star level and David Bednar creeps toward normalcy. Santana? Despite what the Savant bars tell you, what you see is what you get, and he should be relegated to mop-up duty until proven otherwise.