Yankees trade for intriguing left-handed reliever to bolster bullpen

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Roy Dabner for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With the news that Scott Effross would miss multiple months this season after undergoing back surgery in December, the New York Yankees have announced that they acquired left-handed reliever Clayton Andrews in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers. The corresponding move for Andrews’ acquisition is placing the aforementioned Scott Effross on the 60-day injured list, and to complete the trade they will be sending over DSL prospect Joshua Quezada. In four outings with the Brewers, Clayton Andrews pitched to an ugly 27.00 ERA but looked brilliant in Triple-A.

The left-handed reliever sports a fastball-slider-changeup pitch mix and struck out 74 batters last season in Triple-A across 48 appearances.

Clayton Andrews Adds Left-Handed Depth to the Yankees

Syndication: Milwaukee
Milwaukee Brewers minor league pitcher Clayton Andrews delivers a pitch during their spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Clayton Andrews is a unique pitcher, standing at just 5’6 and having a lower slot release because of his shorter frame, and that helps his fastball play up in the strike zone. His fastball sits between 94-95 MPH, and while it doesn’t have excellent vertical movement, the unique release height makes it a quality pitch. His slider and changeup are his two best pitches, with both of them sporting Whiff Rates nearing 50% in Triple-A this past season. There’s a lot to like in his arm action and pitch profile, and he should fit the backend of the Yankees’ bullpen well if they choose to call him up.

Entering his age-27 season, Andrews still has two Minor League options if the Yankees decide to stash him in Triple-A, but don’t be surprised if he wins a job in Spring Training. The announcement that they would not see Scott Effross until the summer alongside any other potential injuries that are bound to arise throughout the season could give way to a promotion for the southpaw, and he could be another left-handed weapon for the Bronx Bombers and manager Aaron Boone.

MLB: New York Yankees at Texas Rangers
Oct 3, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Scott Effross (59) delivers a pitch to the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning at Globe Life Field. The Yankees won 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

The news that Scott Effross would miss a good chunk of the season didn’t spur the trade, the team was likely aware of the procedure long before it was public, but this certainly helps ease nerves about their depth. It also seems like there’s some traction on a deal with Lou Trivino, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery and was acquired by the Yankees in the Frankie Montas trade in 2022. As the Yankees continue to build up their bullpen depth, small acquisitions like this one can go a long way, and Brian Cashman will continue to search the market for options.

Matt Krook was recently designated for assignment, and he was one of the few left-handed relievers they had in the organization who could be promoted during the season, so Clayton Andrews fits their need for left-handed pitching depth pretty well. Andrews has been with the Brewers’ organization since being drafted out of Cal State in 2018, and he has been a reliever since being drafted, so that’s the role he’ll stick with in the Bronx. He collects a solid amount of groundballs and generates high swing-and-miss numbers, and over a larger sample size might have MLB success.

Spring Training will bring some new challenges as guys get on the mound or in the batter’s box for live matchups, and news about roster shake-ups will trickle in as well. Today marked the first day that teams could place players on the 60-day injured list, and so there’s been a flurry of activity now that they can open up spots on the 40-man roster. Expect Lou Trivino to sign with the team shortly, and for the bullpen acquisitions to continue rolling in.

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