The New York Yankees got to work last week in building up their minor-league depth, swiping little-known names from across the landscape rather than figuring out how to scrounge up $9 million for Matt Moore (or how to put aside less money for a minor-league contract for a reclamation project like Hunter Strickland or Bryan Shaw).
No, the Yankees value talent over name -- or, in this case, they value "talent and interesting name" over "established name."
Last Wednesday, just before agreeing to terms with ex-Twin Ian Hamilton, the Yankees took a similar flyer on right-hander Gray Fenter, formerly a member of the Orioles and Giants organizations, but most recently a dominant option out of the 'pen for the independent Lancaster Barnstormers.
The Barnstormers joined the Atlantic League as a franchise without a home stadium. Fenter is hoping he, instead, ends up with a home stadium unlike any other in the Bronx.
And, Jon Heyman, we sincerely apologize: this wasn't an Arson troll tweet. We just thought his name sounded like Fender.
Yankees sign RHP Gray Fenter, former Oriole and Giant
And, in case you're wondering, Fenter's family is pretty excited about the move:
Though it's certainly a longshot, Fenter wouldn't be the first arm to rise from relative obscurity to the Yankees' MLB roster.
Lucas Luetge, before landing on the team as an NRI prior to the 2021 season and ultimately making the roster, had been out of baseball since 2019 and out of the majors since 2015; he went on to be a valued low-leverage option (one of the game's best) for two years before finding a spot in the NL East-favorite Braves' bullpen.
Hell, Stephen Ridings was a substitute teacher with a rocket for an arm before the Yankees uncovered him (and eventually lost him to the Mets).
Fenter's previous affiliated work includes a remarkable season with the 2019 Delmarva Shorebirds, Baltimore's Single-A team. He posted a 1.81 ERA in 22 outings (17 starts), striking out an incredible 123 men in 94.1 innings (walking 43).
There's something electric in Fenter's right arm, which revealed itself once more during his stint with the Barnstormers last summer. If anyone can figure out how to capture that lightning in a bottle again, it's Matt Blake and Co. (or, fine, Mark Prior and the Dodgers, too).