Yankees, Yerry De Los Santos Agree To Deal

1 week ago 2

By | November 20, 2023 at 7:09pm CDT

The Yankees have an agreement with reliever Yerry De Los Santos, his representatives at Epitome Sports Management announced on Instagram. While the agency didn’t specify the terms, it’s very likely a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

De Los Santos became a free agent two weeks ago after he went unclaimed on waivers. That ended his career-long tenure with the Pirates. The righty signed with Pittsburgh as an amateur in 2014. He got to the big leagues eight years later, tossing 25 2/3 innings of 4.91 ERA ball as a rookie. He took on a similar workload this past season, tallying 24 1/3 frames over 26 MLB appearances.

The 25-year-old (26 next month) turned in a 3.33 ERA for the Bucs this year. That’s a solid mark on the surface but comes with an underwhelming strikeout and walk profile. He handed out free passes at a 12.5% clip while punching out a well below-average 17.3% of batters faced. De Los Santos had only slightly better strikeout and walk numbers in Triple-A, where he was tagged for a 6.12 ERA over 25 innings.

That combination of middling control and a subpar whiff rate led teams to opt against devoting him a 40-man roster spot when he hit waivers. He’s a sensible target for the Yankees as a non-roster addition, however. New York tends to prioritize ground-ball arms in the late innings. They’ve led the majors in ground-ball percentage from their relief corps in consecutive seasons.

De Los Santos fits the mold. He relies primarily on a sinker that averaged 95 MPH at the big league level. That has resulted in a grounder rate north of 53% in his MLB career. (The league average for relievers sat at 43.6% this year.) De Los Santos has a pair of minor league options remaining. If he cracks the MLB roster, the Yankees could move him between the Bronx and Triple-A without exposing him to waivers.

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