Yankees will have new reliever acquisition join the team in Arizona

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Milwaukee Brewers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the New York Yankees acquired Jake Cousins from the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations, and they’ll be pressing him into action almost immediately. After spending his entire MLB career with the Milwaukee Brewers, he would bounce around to the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox over the last year and now finds himself in the Bronx with the Yankees. The hard-throwing right-hander has a nasty repertoire including a sweeping slider and hard sinker, and could fit the profile of a reliever that Matt Blake and company do well developing.

This news was first reported by Erik Boland of Newsday, and there is no word on who the Yankees will demote as the corresponding move for the 29-year-old right-hander.

Jake Cousins is Expected to Join the Yankees This Series

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

With the Yankees shuffling their bullpen around with the demotion of Clayton Beeter, which resulting in them rostering Tanner Tully and designating Nick Ramirez for assignment, they’ll add another transaction to the shuffle. The trade itself is official, as the team announced on their Twitter page about the transaction, but he had yet to be placed on an active roster yet. Since Cousins had a MiLB option, they could have sent him down to Triple-A for now, but they’ll instead carry him on their Major League roster.

Cousins was not on the Chicago White Sox 40-man roster, which means the Yankees will have to clear a roster spot for him, although that doesn’t seem like it’ll be too difficult. They could designate Tanner Tully for assignment even though they haven’t used him, as they didn’t have him on their 40-man roster until they demoted Beeter, and he could potentially pass through waivers and accept the outright assignment to Scranton.

Oswald Peraza and DJ LeMahieu are potential 60-day IL candidates as well, with the former being more likely since he’s in the middle of a throwing shutdown. Earlier in Spring Training, an MRI revealed that the infielder had a shoulder injury that would require a 6-8 week shutdown, and that doesn’t even factor in the time it’ll take to rehab from the issue and get back into game shape, which could take a month on its own.

READ: The Yankees add an interesting bullpen arm who could return to old form

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees
Sep 22, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Oswald Peraza (91) throws the ball to first base for an out during the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Cousins has a career 3.08 ERA across 51 appearances with the Brewers, striking out 31.4% of batters faced while having a 50.4% groundball rate. His issues come with a scarily high 16.2% walk rate, as his command has limited his ability to consistently get outs in big spots. What makes him appealing to the Yankees is the elite-level stuff, sporting a power sinker and sweeping slider from a lower slot that’s even more deceptive because of the crossbody motion.

The slider in particular is gross, with a Whiff Rate of 49.8% in his MLB career, and the four-seamer could be a plus pitch as well if he can continue to locate it up in the zone against lefties. His funky release height and horizontal release point make him an interesting candidate for a four-seamer up in the zone since batters will struggle to get on top of it, and that pitch could blend in with his sinker-sweeper duo well.

In seven Spring Training outings, Cousins had a 39.3% strikeout rate and 1.29 ERA, cutting the walk rate down to 7.1% while generating a strong 50% groundball rate with the White Sox.

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