The New York Yankees walked away from opening day with a 5–0 victory over the San Francisco Giants. Courtesy of an 11-strikeout performance from Gerrit Cole and a few homers via Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres, the Bombers picked up their first win of the 2023 regular season. However, management is still shaping out the back end of the roster with depth pieces.
Manager Aaron Boone indicated that the Yankees were in contact with a free-agent pitcher. While it could’ve been Colton Brewer, who was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday, he is seemingly starting the season with Triple-A Scranton, indicating another move could be on the way.
The Yankees can get some good value out of Brewer:
Brewer is a solid pitcher who is coming off a dominant spring with Tampa. He tossed 9.1 scoreless innings and picked up 15 strikeouts in the process. With a slider, cutter, and curveball combination, he offers great breaking ball quality the Yankees could feature out of the bullpen. With the number of injuries, the team has faced in the past, having adequate depth is essential.
- Yankees refuse to call up surging prospect in Triple-A
- Yankees gearing up to return $11.5 million bullpen signing
- Former Gold Glove winner and Yankees’ reserve outfielder opts for free agency
However, considering Brewer will start his Yankee tenure with their Triple-A affiliate, the club could still be in the market for a big-league pitcher to fill a back-end relief role. The Yankees carried only 25 men into their opener, receiving bullpen support from Wandy Peralta and Ron Marinaccio, but after Cole’s dominant performance, there wasn’t much work left to do.
Free-agent bullpen arms currently on the market include familiar face, Zack Britton, Corey Knebel, Archie Bradley, and a few low-level options.
With the Yankees’ bullpen lacking diversity, there’s an argument to make that Britton could be a decent signing on a cheap contract. Coming off Tommy John surgery at 35 years old, Britton only pitched 0.2 innings last year and hasn’t pitched over 20 innings since 2019. His numbers have progressively gotten worse over time, despite being one of the league’s best closers over the past decade.
While I wouldn’t bet on the two sides reuniting, the Yankees could have a few moves up their sleeve, especially since Estevan Florial’s time in the Bronx seems limited after a poor spring performance.