Yankees designated left-handed depth starter for assignment to clear room for new reliever

tanner tully, yankees
Mar 13, 2023; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Tanner Tully (80) throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during spring training at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have announced that they will designate left-handed pitcher Tanner Tully for assignment to make room for newly acquired reliever Jake Cousins. Over the weekend, the Yankees demoted Clayton Beeter to Triple-A after he made a three-pitch, three-out MLB debut in the final inning of their 7-1 win over the Astros in the second game of their opening series. As the corresponding move, they promoted Tanner Tully up, adding him to their 40-man roster by designating Nick Ramirez for assignment, and this move adds another wrinkle to that transaction tree.

Yesterday the Yankees acquired Jake Cousins from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations, and he could be an interesting addition to their bullpen.

Jake Cousins Added to the Roster, Yankees DFA Tanner Tully

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at New York Mets
Mar 5, 2024; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Tanner Tully (84) warms-up before the bottom of the first inning against the New York Mets at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Tully, whom the Yankees added to their 40-man roster this past weekend to have as bullpen depth, found himself as the unfortunate victim of the Jake Cousins trade. The Yankees were carrying him as a long-reliever option in their bullpen as insurance in case a starter got run out of the game early, but with Marcus Stroman and Clarke Schmidt pitching past the fifth, they were able to avoid going to him in their final two wins of the series.

He spent last season with the Yankees in Triple-A, pitching to a 5.64 ERA across 19 starts with an 18.6% strikeout rate and 1.62 WHIP. The 29-year-old southpaw would opt out of his deal midseason and sign a contract with the NC Dinos in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), pitching to a 2.92 ERA to end his season and returning to the Bronx on a MiLB deal earlier this offseason.

When the Yankees acquired Jake Cousins, this made for a complication that would make Tully the obvious pick for a DFA, as they would need to clear a roster spot to bring him on their active roster. It shows faith in Cousins, as they didn’t have to place him on the 40-man roster as the White Sox originally acquired him as a Minor League free agent.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
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The cousin of Atlanta Falcons’ recently-signed quarterback Kirk Cousins, the right-hander posted a 1.29 ERA across seven outings, striking out 11 batters with just two walks in his stint with the White Sox in Spring Training. In his MLB career, he has a 3.08 ERA in 51 appearances, sporting a 31.4% strikeout rate and a nasty slider with a 49.8% Whiff Rate. The Yankees are hoping they can optimize his pitch mix and help him rebound after a nasty 2023 season where he had more walks than strikeouts.

New York will open their second series of the year in Arizona, as Luis Gil squares off against Ryne Nelson in the first game of a three-game set against the NL Champion Diamondbacks, with first pitch at 9:40 PM EST.

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