The September 2023 Yankees were firmly locked into Search Mode, picking up and promoting any and all assets who could possibly be useful in an effort to get the fact-finding mission started early for 2024.
That included prospects like Everson Pereira, Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells, who managed to find plenty of facts during their (sometimes all-too-short) cameos, most of them very helpful. It also included journeyman right-hander Luke Weaver, a former St. Louis Cardinals first-round pick who impressed in his three-start stint, posting a 3.38 ERA with 16 Ks in 13.1 innings pitched. Weaver's cutter appeared just before his Yankee tenure, too, during a brief stint in Seattle.
Did New York see enough? Would the Yankees wish him on his merry way, or bring him back for '24? With the rotation depth thinned out significantly by the Juan Soto trade, it's not stunning that the Yankees extended an offer to and reportedly agreed to a contract with Weaver this week. What is shocking is the amount of monetary faith they've placed in him.
According to FanSided's MLB insider Robert Murray, the Weaver deal is a baseline one-year contract at $2 million, but with a club option attached. If the Yankees solve the righty, this could escalate all the way up to $8.25 million total. Wild numbers, on the surface, but if you believe you can squeeze that value out of him and it's all conditional ... go for it.
Yankees sign Luke Weaver; who gets knocked off 40-man roster?
We knew the Yankees would eventually have to clear several spots off their filled-to-the-brim 40-man, presumably via trade. We did not know they'd have to knock someone off the roster to accommodate Weaver and his incentive-based salary.
Left-hander Matt Krook, whose 2023 season was a nightmare at every level, as he lost control of his bread and butter, likely isn't long for this roster. If the team fears losing additional pitching depth, they can also hand Jeter Downs or Bubba Thompson their walking papers.
Will Weaver's $2 million move him up the depth chart above Clayton Beeter and Will Warren? It's certainly possible. The signing signals a similarly desperate search for depth to the one that occurred last fall, but the monetary value indicates the Yankees see something important here. Paired with the Cody Poteet signing, Brian Cashman seems to be firmly entrenched in the world of hidden gems.