Yankees ink veteran relief pitcher to MiLB deal

matt bowman, yankees
Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Matt Bowman (67) throws a pitch during a Cincinnati Reds instrasquad scrimmage game at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Cincinnati Reds Summer Training

The New York Yankees don’t have much salary space left to spend in free agency, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t add more talent to their minor-league system. Filling the reserves with depth pieces that might make an impact during 2023 isn’t a bad idea — and it’s cheap!

Preferably, the Yankees won’t have to utilize any of these last-resort arms, but they did ink veteran relief pitcher Matt Bowman to a new one-year contract, according to the MLB transaction log.

Bowman is an intriguing relief pitcher, pitching 181.1 innings in his career, but hasn’t tossed a pitch for a Major League team since 2019 with the Cincinnati Reds. During that season, he posted a 3.66 ERA, 4.55 xFIP, 7.03 strikeouts per nine, and 0.59 home runs per nine across 32 innings. He wasn’t that bad, so the Yankees taking a flyer on him at 31 years old is justifiable.

What does Matt Bowman offer the Yankees?

Bowman spent his first three years in the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals, putting together two consecutive years of sub-4.00 ERA baseball until the 2018 campaign when he gave us 6.26 ERA. He bounced back nicely in 2019 but hasn’t pitched since, so the Yankees are hoping for a miracle if he can elevate his game and make an impact in some way, likely as a supplement to injury.

Bowman features a 4-seam fastball, slider, split-finger fastball, cutter, and curveball sequence. The freshest data comes from 2019, when his fastball generated a .260 batting average against with a 17.2% whiff rate and 15.5% put-away rate. His 4-seam fastball does generate 124% more horizontal movement than the average pitcher, and his slider 44% more horizontal movement. I wouldn’t sleep on his curveball either, a pitch that produces 124% more horizontal movement.

Historically, Bowman had some promise, but considering he hasn’t pitched in three years, he’s certainly a shot in the dark that won’t cost the Yankees anything if he doesn’t pan out.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: