Yankees flip newly claimed pitcher less than a week after acquisition

mlb: houston astros at seattle mariners, matt gage, yankees
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had been scouring the market for bullpen pitchers at the right price point over the past few weeks. They had two former Houston Astros on their board, Hector Neris and Phil Maton.

Neris signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs, and Maton latched on with the Tampa Bay Rays, leading the Yankees to look elsewhere. On Monday, it was reported that they struck a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, landing Caleb Ferguson in exchange for two prospects.

Trade Details and Prospects Involved

Specifically, the Yankees sent Matt Gage and Christian Zazueta out west. Interestingly, Gage was acquired just last week via waivers from the Astros. Clearly, the Dodgers had an interest in Gage and were willing to move one of their bullpen arms to acquire him and a prospect.

Gage is 30 years old and is a left-handed pitcher. He hosted a 2.70 ERA over 6.2 innings this past season for Houston and pitched 37.1 innings there with their Triple-A affiliate. He has 19.2 innings of MLB action and has recorded a 1.83 ERA, suggesting there is some upside to extract.

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Ferguson’s Role and Yankees’ Rotation Concerns

In return, the Yankees will utilize Ferguson as a primary piece in their bullpen, and since he’s a lefty pitcher, he brings a bit of versatility to a right-handed heavy unit.

Ferguson has one more year left of team control until he becomes a free agent in 2025, so the Yankees essentially acquired another rental. He posted a 3.43 ERA over 60.1 innings last season, hosted a 1.82 ERA in 2022 over 34.2 innings

It certainly seems that the Yankees are going in on 2024 since they have a significant number of players heading to free agency in 2025. Ferguson is a good addition, but most are mainly concerned about the team’s starting rotation.