Yankees take advantage of Astros' Josh Hader signing with savvy move

Can we Gage your interest in a lefty reliever?
Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros
Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

The Astros had a very good reason to DFA left-handed reliever Matt Gage. After all, there's no need to parse peripherals when you have a chance to add Josh Hader to the bullpen.

But just because the Astros made a power move doesn't mean that Gage wouldn't be a fruitful addition for a team seeking bullpen depth. After all, the Yankees have never shown much desire to live in the past. While Wandy Peralta might be the more familiar (and available) bullpen solution, you've got to admit Brian Cashman has always been likelier to seek the next Wandy Peralta rather than re-up with the current one.

Which brings us to Gage, who was claimed by the Yankees on Monday afternoon. With a full 40-man, the Yankees needed to make a corresponding roster move to make the signing official.

While we suggested looking at the "catchers" section of the roster, which currently features five names, might've been a good place to start, the Yanks disagreed, saying farewell to Diego Castillo, the versatile infielder they claimed just 10 days ago.

Yankees claim Matt Gage after Astros DFA'd him for Josh Hader

Could Gage stick around and be the next Lucas Luetge, inducing swings-and-misses in low-to-mid-leverage situations before being flipped for an intriguing prospect like Caleb Durbin? You never know. Bet you didn't think that was going to be Luetge's path, either.

Gage, an upstate New Yorker (extra points), has gotten 19.2 innings of MLB work over the past two seasons, posting a 1.83 ERA and 26% K percentage with both Toronto and Houston. His minor-league work has been more extensive, but not necessarily more impressive; the 30-year-old whiffed 39 men in 37.1 innings last season for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, but departed Triple-A with a harrowing 1.63 WHIP.

Maybe Matt Blake sees something he likes in Gage's ground balls-and-Ks profile. Maybe he just considers him a fun personal project to try to pick up Houston's corresponding losses and spin them into gold. Maybe the Yankees were just looking for a convenient way to shake up their infield depth chart yet again with the corresponding blast.

Either way, Gage has some traits the Yankees traditionally like, and the Astros connection doesn't hurt the narrative.