Six Yankees, including 2023 perfect pitcher, enter free agency

A wall painting celebrates ex-Yankees pitcher German Domingo's 2023 perfect game in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic.

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Six players, including righty Domingo German, elected free agency rather than accepting outright assignments, the Yankees announced. Outfielders Billy McKinney and Franchy Cordero, along with right-handers Jimmy Cordero, Matt Bowman, and Ryan Weber also hit free agency.

Germán chose free agency Monday after clearing waivers, foregoing one year of team control. He spent the final two months on the restricted list seeking alcohol abuse treatment following a clubhouse incident at Yankee Stadium.

The 31-year-old previously served an 81-game suspension from 2019-2020 for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Over parts of six Yankee seasons, Germán posted a 4.41 ERA, including a June perfect game against Oakland.

With one team control year left, Germán opted for free agency following alcohol-related incidents, ending his turbulent Yankee tenure. Five other players also rejected outright assignments.

New York Yankees starter Domingo German
AdamThaSportFan/Twitter

After June’s historic 24th perfect game, Germán made five more Yankee starts before entering alcohol treatment. He finished 2022 with a 4.56 ERA over 108.2 innings.

Germán’s New York tenure featured inconsistency and off-field troubles. MLB suspended him 81 games in 2020 for allegedly slapping his girlfriend post-charity gala hosted by former teammate CC Sabathia, causing him to miss the shortened COVID-19 season.

Germán returned in 2021, starting early before a July shoulder injury shutdown. He served as sixth starter in 2022 with a 3.61 ERA over 14 starts. Injuries to Luis Severino and Carlos Rodón thrust him into a rotation spotlight.

In May, Germán drew a 10-game suspension for violating MLB’s foreign substance policy. Six starts later came his perfect game.

Despite highs like the no-hitter, Germán’s Yankee career was marred by suspensions, inconsistency, and alcohol issues leading to his exit.

Other Yankees free agents

Franchy Cordero (24 games)

.188 BA/.211 OBP/.478 SLG, 13 H, 9 R, 6 HR, 13 RBI

franchy-Cordero-Yankees

Franchy Cordero faced challenges during his limited appearances in the big leagues, managing a .188 batting average with eight extra-base hits, including six home runs, 13 RBIs, and an OPS of .689 across 24 games this season. While Cordero has showcased glimpses of his raw talent in the major leagues, his overall performance spans seven seasons and amounts to just a .678 OPS.

RHP Ryan Weber (8 games)

W-L: 1-0, 14.1 IP, 3.14 ERA, 17 H, 5 ER, 7 K, 1 BB, 1.256 WHIP

Yankees relief pitcher Ryan Weber

Ryan Weber experienced considerably greater achievements, recording a 2.16 earned run average (ERA) while maintaining an impressive 10-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, holding batters to a .247 batting average against him, and achieving a 1.00 walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) over a span of 25 innings with the Yankees from 2022 to 2023.

OF Billy McKinney (48 games)

.227 BA/.320 OBP/.406 SLG, 29 H, 19 R, 6 HR, 14 RBI

billy-mckinney-new-york-yankees
Twitter-NYY

Billy McKinney found himself among a series of average outfielders attempting to fill the void created by Aaron Judge‘s midseason toe injury. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for the last few weeks of the season due to a back injury, and there is uncertainty regarding his current health status.

One of McKinney’s standout moments occurred on July 21st when the Yankees played against the Royals at home, resulting in a 5-4 victory. He made notable contributions in center field, making two outstanding catches, and delivered a crucial three-run home run that played a pivotal role in the Yankees’ triumph.

RHP Matt Bowman (3 games)

W-L: 0-0, 4.0 IP, 9.00 ERA, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 2.000 WHIP

The sinkerball pitcher Matt Bowman conceded four runs over a four-inning stint with the Yankees this season, marking his return to the major league for the first time since 2019.

RHP Jimmy Cordero (31 games)

W-L: 3-2, 32.2 IP, 3.86 ERA, 25 H, 14 ER, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.071 WHIP

Jimmy Cordero of the New York Yankees

The 32-year-old faced suspension during the season due to a violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy. The 31-year-old relief pitcher had become a significant asset for the Yankees’ bullpen, staging a remarkable comeback after his absence from the major leagues since 2020. In 31 appearances this season, Jimmy Cordero demonstrated his prowess by striking out 34 batters and issuing just 10 walks over 32.2 innings. He achieved an impressive 3.86 ERA, while opposing batters struggled with a mere .208 batting average and a .317 slugging percentage—both well below the league average.

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