Yankees could get substantial value from lowkey pitching signing

mlb: arizona diamondbacks at new york yankees, luke weaver
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have been aiming to bolster their pitching corps this offseason following a disappointing 2023 season. Additions like Marcus Stroman grab the headlines, but one lowkey signing could bring substantial value to the Yankees.

The Yankees recently reached an agreement with Luke Weaver on an incentive-loaded deal to add depth as a starting pitcher this upcoming season. Weaver may not be a blockbuster addition, but he could provide a lot of value to the Yankees’ pitching.

What Luke Weaver is bringing to the Yankees’ pitching rotation:

Weaver is a career journeyman pitcher who spent the 2023 season with three different teams, including the Yankees. He played for the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, and Yankees last season, posting a 6.40 ERA over 123.2 innings pitched.

During his short stint with the Yankees, however, Weaver showed promise. He pitched 13.1 innings for the Pinstripes, posting a 3.38 ERA, a 93.8% left-on-base rate, and a 36.8% ground ball rate.

“Looking into theĀ advanced stats, the Yankees helped introduce a cutter to his game late in the season, a pitch that dominated in the month of September, hosting a .217 batting average. His fastball was a bit more productive, but the Yankees completely axed his curveball for the most part, throwing it just 12 times in the final month, also reducing his sweeper usage.”

Via Alexander Wilson of Empire Sports Media

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Weaver will provide some depth to the Yankees’ group that features Luis Gil, Cody Poteet, Cody Morris, Yoendrys Gomez, Clayton Beeter, and Will Warren behind the team’s five main starters.

The right-hander signed a one-year, $2 million deal for the upcoming season that includes a 2025 club option, which can max out at $8.25 million, per FanSided’s Robert Murray. He will have a chance to prove himself on this inexpensive deal this season, adding an extra arm to the Yankees’ bullpen after the team moved off a number of pitchers this offseason.

Pitching depth was a persistent problem for the Yankees in 2023 — one they hope to correct in the upcoming 2024 season. Weaver will add the necessary depth and consistency to the group going forward.