Yankees swipe player from Rays off waivers ahead of weekend series

A little spy tactic?
Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day
Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Yankees are gearing up to finish their three-game set against the Houston Astros before visiting the Tampa Bay Rays for a weekend series. Before the Yanks hope to bust out the brooms, they're seemingly making a strategic move to get in the Rays' head.

Or, at least that's what we'd like to think. On Thursday afternoon, the Yankees claimed former Rays pitcher Colby White off waivers. Tampa designated White for assignment last week after bringing up catcher Alex Jackson to the big-league roster.

White was occuping a spot on the 40-man but his time had run out. After getting rocked in spring training, the right-hander was assigned to Triple-A Durham, where he logged a ridiculously bad 17.61 ERA and 2.61 WHIP in nine games (7 2/3 innings).

Everything was bad. He pitched three scoreless innings and got absolutely destroyed in the other 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing, in total, 17 runs on 15 hits and 10 walks.

Not sure where he fits in after being assigned to Double-A Somerset, but maybe it's a way for the Yanks to replenish pitching depth with guys like Brock Selvidge, Trystan Vrieling and Carlos Gomez absolutely dominating (and potentially looking at a promotion).

Yankees swipe player from Rays off waivers ahead of weekend series

White was a 2019 sixth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, but missed all of 2020 (COVID season) and 2022 (injury) before absolutely face-planting to start 2024. Overall, though, he's had a solid minor-league career.

The 25-year-old owns a 2.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 167 strikeouts across 111 1/3 innings. Per Baseball America prior to the start of the 2022 season, White's "fastball is MLB-ready and his slider isn't far away" and "he has the potential to get late-inning, high-leverage outs."

It could've just been one of those situations where the Rays couldn't spend any more time waiting for him to take the leap as other roster questions emerged. As for the Yanks, they can now take theirs, and White can possibly reset at Double-A after a rough go at Triple-A.

White's spot on the 40-man roster in New York won't require a corresponding move because there was already a vacancy after the Taylor Trammell DFA.