Yankees cut former No. 1 prospect, sign relief pitcher to roster

New York Yankees, Estevan Florial
Mar 14, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Estevan Florial (90) during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees initially selected former No. 1 prospect in their farm system Estevan Florial to the 26-man roster, but the writing was on the wall the entire time.

Florial struggled during spring training, failing to get anything going, and had been disappointing over a few major league stints in previous years. Without any minor-league options to utilize, the Yankees had to make an unfortunate decision, designated Florial for assignment on Saturday before their 4 PM game against the San Francisco Giants.

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The Yankees were always going to DFA Estevan Florial:

Florial had enjoyed opening day with the Yankees and managed to get into the game, but his lackluster offensive qualities doomed him from the start. Florial performed well at the Triple-A level in 2022, hitting .283 with a .368 OBP, including 15 homers, 46 RBIs, and swiping 39 bases across 101 games. However, he couldn’t cut it at the MLB level, hitting .097 with a .200 OBP across 17 games and 35 plate appearances last year.

Estevan enjoyed 42 at-bats across 22 games this spring, hitting .167 with a .286 OBP, logging a homer and eight RBIs with five stolen bases. There’s no question that the 25-year-old outfielder has plenty of athleticism and good defensive traits but an elevated strikeout and chase rates forced him into a tough spot.

The Yankees signed relief pitcher Colton Brewer from the Tampa Bay Rays to replace his roster spot. Brewer is coming off a tremendous spring training performance at 30 years old, posting a perfect 0.00 ERA across eight games and 9.1 innings pitched. He allowed four hits, walked three batters, and struck out 15.

The Yankees needed an additional bullpen arm with several players currently dealing with injury, notably Lou Trivino and Tommy Kahnle. Brewer can help supplement the back end of the bullpen for the time being but I anticipate he will eventually land with Triple-A Scranton once the Yankees get a bit healthier in that department.

However, this spells the end of Florial’s bumpy tenure donning the pinstripes, finding his way toward a long list of top prospects that didn’t pan out.