Yankees trade for high-upside bullpen arm from Dodgers

mlb: game one-los angeles dodgers at colorado rockies, caleb ferguson, yankees
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees had been patiently waiting for the right bullpen arm to cross their desk in a potential acquisition. They passed on Hector Neris, Wandy Peralta, and Keynan Middleton, but general manager Brian Cashman struck a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday afternoon, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

The Yankees will acquire Caleb Ferguson from the Dodgers, a 27-year-old bullpen arm with one year left of control until he hits free agency in 2025. Ferguson will earn $2.4 million for the upcoming season, but the left-handed relief pitcher has quality stuff and should support the Yankees’ relief department.

Ferguson’s Impact on the Yankees’ Bullpen

Last season, Ferguson tossed 60.1 innings, recording a 3.43 ERA and 3.34 FIP, including 10.44 strikeouts per nine, a 72.7% left-on-base rate, and a 49.1% ground ball rate. However, his best season came back in 2022 when he recorded a 1.82 ERA over 34.2 innings.

Ferguson utilizes a four-seam fastball, cutter, and sweeper. His four-seamer produced a .277 batting average last season, and his cutter a .253 average. The Yankees may want to get his sweeper more involved, considering he threw it only 2.8% last season.

[su_posts template=”templates/list-loop.php” posts_per_page=”3″ tax_term=”1622326″ offset=”1″ order=”desc”]

Enhancing the Left-Handed Pitching Arsenal

However, his cutter generates 79% more horizontal break than the average pitcher at 86.6 mph. His fastball averages 95.8 mph, which is solid for a lefty arm.

The Yankees were heavily right-handed in the bullpen; Ferguson makes perfect sense as a new addition and should support the bullpen significantly.