Jack Curry of the YES Network is reporting that the New York Yankees have purchased the contract of right-handed relief pitcher Kirby Yates from the Cleveland Indians. Yates was designated for assignment by the Indians on January 5 in order to make room for newly acquired first baseman Mike Napoli.
The Indians acquired Yates from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for cash early in the offseason, and it looked like the perfect low-risk, high-reward type of trade. Yates’ 2015 season was a total disaster--he carried 7.97 ERA in 20 appearances for the Rays--but there was reason to believe he was a much better pitcher than that; if only he could keep his home runs under control.
Yates was one of the first relievers acquired by the Indians this offseason, but he was far from the last. Since Yates was acquired on November 25, the Indians have also signed relievers Ross Detwiler, Joe Thatcher, Tom Gorzelanny, Felipe Paulino, and Joba Chamberlain to minor league contracts. In the end, it just did not make sense for the Indians to carry that many relievers into Spring Traning, and Yates got the short end of the stick.