Yankees ink journeyman pitcher to free agent deal

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

While many are waiting on the big splash move the New York Yankees make to reinforce the starting rotation, they did make one acquisition on Thursday afternoon, signing journeyman right-hander Luke Weaver to a one-year, $2 million deal, including a 2025 club option that can max out at $8.25 million, according to Robert Murray of FanSided.

The Yankees are still looking for pitching depth after moving seven arms this off-season to land three outfielders. Weaver is an interesting player having moved around the MLB, spending time with the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, and Yankees just last season alone.

Over 123.2 innings pitched, he hosted a 6.40 ERA, including a 68.8% left-on-base rate and 35.5% ground ball rate. He tossed 97 innings with Cincinnati, where he finished with a 6.87 ERA before being released.

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The Yankees See Something in Luke Weaver

However, his numbers looked much improved with the Yankees, tossing 13.1 innings and recording a 3.38 ERA, and 10.80 strikeouts per nine, including a 93.8% left-on-base rate and 36.8% ground ball rate.

Looking into the 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.

Clearly, pitching coach Matt Blake had a few ideas to tweak Weaver’s stuff, utilizing his cutter more frequently to play off his four-seamer. Clearly, that was a good move that produced quality results, and the Yankees want to continue building off that momentum.

The anticipation is that Weaver will fill a relief role and help as a spot starter if need be to reinforce the rotation, but he is more of a depth signing than anything else.