Last Updated on November 18, 2023 at 7:00 am by Sara Molnick
On Friday night, the Yankees opted to avoid offering renewed contracts to three relievers and trade one outfielder. The non-tendered players include right-handers Lou Trivino and Albert Abreu and lefty Anthony Misiewicz. The outfielder was Jake Bauers.
Trivino’s non-tender was anticipated due to his recovery from Tommy John surgery and an expected salary of over $4 million in 2024. Abreu, who returned to the Yankees in 2023 after a trade with the Rangers, struggled with inconsistency, posting a 4.73 ERA for the season. Misiewicz, claimed by the Yankees mid-season, made a significant impact but suffered a head injury, ending his season on the concussion list.
With these departures, the Yankees saved approximately $5 million, and when combined with the trade of outfielder Jake Bauers to the Brewers, the total savings rose to around $7 million. Additionally, these moves free up four slots on the 40-man roster, providing flexibility for potential acquisitions.
Yankees let three pitchers go
The decision to non-tender Trivino was expected, given his projected 2024 salary of over $4 million and his ongoing recovery from Tommy John surgery, which kept him sidelined throughout the previous season. While the Yankees would have preferred a more substantial contribution from Trivino before parting ways, they are confident in filling his spot in the bullpen with a healthy and cost-effective alternative.
The veteran pitcher was part of last year’s significant trade, which included the acquisition of Montas from Oakland to the Bronx. Montas, also a free agent, endured a season marked by injuries, making just one appearance before the regular season concluded due to a lengthy recovery from shoulder surgery.
During the 2023 season, Abreu contributed in 45 games from the Yankees’ bullpen, marking his first full season back in pinstripes after being traded to the Rangers in 2022 in exchange for catcher Jose Trevino.
Although the initial trade showcased its value, the decision to reacquire Abreu later that summer and retain him throughout the entire 2023 season raised eyebrows. The hard-throwing right-hander concluded the year with a 4.73 ERA, exhibiting a volatile presence on the mound and inconsistent command.
While Abreu remained with the team throughout the previous season, his performance did not instill significant confidence from manager Aaron Boone. Despite his noteworthy performance after joining from Oakland in the 2022 trade deadline, he missed the entire 2023 season due to Tommy John surgery in May. The Yankees have opted not to retain Abreu, allowing him to enter free agency, avoiding a potential $4 million commitment for a pitcher set to miss a substantial portion of the upcoming season.
Anthony Misiewicz, who appeared in three games for the Yankees in September, is also among those not offered contracts.
Yankees trade Bauers to Brewers for prospects
The day’s transactions included trading Bauers to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor league outfielders Jace Avina and Brian Sánchez. Bauers, who had a notable stint with the Yankees in 2023, struggled in the latter part of the season, recording a .495 OPS in 30 games during August and September.
Concluding the season with 12 home runs but a modest .202 average, Jake Bauers, a below-average corner outfielder and first baseman, left the Yankees in exchange for prospects.
The return includes Jace Avina, a 20-year-old outfielder ranked 29th in the Brewers’ prospect list, who performed impressively in his debut Low-A ball season, posting a .815 OPS with 14 homers in 99 games.
Additionally, the Yankees acquired 19-year-old Brian Sánchez, who debuted in the Dominican Summer League, showcasing a .297/.414/.446 slash line.
No decision on catcher yet
While catcher Kyle Higashioka avoided non-tendering, his future with the team remains uncertain. The Yankees, equipped with surplus catching depth, have been entertaining trade offers, and Higashioka is considered the most likely candidate among the six catchers on the 40-man roster to be moved to another team.
Despite the surplus of catchers, Higashioka remained on the roster, but his future with the team is still uncertain, considering ongoing trade discussions involving the Yankees’ catching depth.
On a positive note, Kyle Higashioka, the longest-tenured player in the organization, remains on the roster, securing a contract. Drafted by the Yankees in 2008, Higashioka has established himself as a reliable backup catcher, renowned for strong receiving skills and occasional power at the plate.
The Yankees currently have six catchers on their roster, anticipating significant playing time for Jose Trevino and Austin Wells in the upcoming season. Ben Rortvedt is without options, and prospects Carlos Narvaez and Agustin Ramirez were recently added to the 40-man roster.
His place on the roster has been uncertain for a team facing the necessity of reducing its catching depth. General manager Brian Cashman commented that the catching position in baseball isn’t particularly robust or deep. He mentioned that numerous teams were expressing interest in their catching depth, indicating a high demand for catchers across the league.
The depth was preserved for another day as the Yankees reduced their 40-man roster to 36.
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