Over the last couple weeks, the New York Yankees have been conducting a roster clean-out. Jake Bauers was traded on Friday. Lou Trivino, Albert Abreu and Anthony Misiewicz were non-tendered. Six players were released shortly after the World Series.
But we're still waiting on additions -- the game-changing ones. A lot of rumors have been swirling around connecting the Yanks to the biggest names in free agency. Though that's commonplace every November to help drive up the price on the player, it's felt more real this offseason than in prior years.
For now, however, we'll have to take what we get. And we got former Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Yerry De Los Santos on Monday, per the pitcher's agency. He inked a minor-league deal worth $900K.
The Pirates outright released De Los Santos earlier this month and he went unclaimed on waivers. He had enough minor-league service time to elect free agency, and now he's found a new home in New York, where everyone's already excited to see what pitching coach Matt Blake can do with him.
De Los Santos was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 and has little MLB experience despite turning 26 next month.
Yankees sign Yerry De Los Santos after Pirates released reliever
Here he is: another sinker-slider guy for ya! The right-hander averages 95 MPH on his sinker and 86 MPH on his slider. And his peripheral metrics from 2023 show that his solid 22-game stint with the Pirates wasn't a fluke.
Pittsburgh has improperly evaluated a star reliever -- Clay Holmes -- not too long ago. It'd be wishful thinking to assume De Los Santos could reach those heights, but if fans trust one thing the Yankees do, it's finding diamond-in-the-rough relievers. This team constantly has a top bullpen in the sport.
De Los Santos' command is an issue (4.3 BB/9 in 48 MLB games) and he doesn't get hitters to chase. He does, however, induce soft contact and ground balls. And he somehow upped his game when getting promoted to the show after getting shelled at Triple-A for much of the season (then an unspecified injury ended his campaign).
He's battled arm and shoulder injuries throughout his career, so that's another red flag, but this seems like a fitting low-risk, high-reward move that could benefit the bullpen myriad ways come 2024.
If recent history has taught us anything, it's that the Yankees rarely let us down with quiet moves like this.