Friday, January 8, 2016

Yankees acquire right-handed reliever Kirby Yates

The New York Yankees announced they have acquired right-handed reliever Kirby Yates from the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations.

The Yankees are surely in need of right-handed relief help as I mentioned earlier this week at SNY. However, I was thinking someone with a bit more of a chance to make an immediate impact than I figure Yates will provide.

Yates, who turns 29 in March, owns a 5.27 ERA (5.33 FIP) in 56.1 innings with a .253 BAA in 57 career relief appearances over parts of two Major League seasons (2014-15) with Tampa Bay. Yates has had some success in his limited major league career against right-handed hitters (.237/.295/.414) against him in his career.

The Yankees surely like his 9.1 K/9 rate and that he is a hard thrower, but there must be some apprehension as well considering his home run rate ballooned in 2015 to 4.4 per nine innings. That’s absolutely insane, and not needed in Yankee Stadium.

But, the Yankees depth at middle relief is thin, so the move can be viewed as simply one which fills the roster with another option for the club to look at this spring. I would expect more of these types of moves in the upcoming weeks, especially with the 40-man roster containing two vacancies after Yates coming aboard.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.