Yankees sign Rays’ pitcher, fans feel disappointed over the move

Yankees sign Rays pitcher Colten Brewer, who is seen here pitching for Boston at Fenway Park, Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Boston.

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Before their Opening Day win over the San Francisco Giants, the Yankees hinted that they were close to making a trade for a pitcher. A few hours later, they made the deal official by signing Tampa Bay’s pitcher Colten Brewer to a minor-league deal and adding him to their 40-man roster in an all-cash trade.

After making it official that they had signed ex-Boston outfielder Franchy Cordero, the Yankees started the season on Thursday with a roster of 14 position players and 12 pitchers, which is one arm less than they will usually have. Earlier PinstripesNation sounded out about a possible trade by the Yankees.

But manager Aaron Boone said the Yankees would soon add a 13th pitcher, who would be their eighth reliever and the team was looking for a “potential deal” for another arm.

“We have a potential deal going that will probably change that in the next day or two,” Boone told to reporters before the opening day game. “A pitcher could be in play for us that we add or not, but then whether or not we do [that], we’d be in a position to pull from the minor leagues too.”

This led fans to expect a big signing. But on Thursday night, the Yankees got right-handed reliever Colten Brewer from the Rays in exchange for cash. Estevan Florial, an outfielder, was expected to be part of any deal, but he wasn’t.

Colten Brewer
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Who is Colten Brewer, the latest Yankees signing?

According to a press release from the New York Yankees:

“Colten Brewer, 30, spent the majority of the 2022 season with Triple-A Omaha of the Kansas City Royals organization, going 1-1 with one save and a 4.76 ERA (39.2IP, 36H, 21ER, 18BB, 42K, 7HR) over 36 relief appearances before being released on August 3, 2022. He then signed with the Tampa Bay Rays as a minor league free agent with an invitation to spring training on December 11, 2022, and did not allow an earned run over eight relief appearances (9.1IP, 4H, 1R/0ER, 3BB, 15K). Over parts of four Major League seasons with San Diego Padres (2018) and Boston Red Sox (2019-21), the right-handed pitcher has gone 2-5 with a 5.04 ERA (91.0IP, 109H, 57R/51ER, 58BB, 88K, 12HR) over 81 career games (four starts).”

“The Dallas native was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. Colten Brewer was then selected by the Yankees in the second round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft on December 8, 2016. The San Diego Padres then signed him to a minor league contract on November 21, 2017, before being acquired by the Boston Red Sox in exchange for INF Esteban Quiroz on November 20, 2018.”

This spring, Colten Brewer did not give up an earned run in 9 ¹/₃ innings while striking out 15 batters for the Rays. There is no clarity over the Yankees adding him to their 26-man roster for their game against the Giants on Saturday. However, reports indicate he is on his way to be part of their 40-man roster. If not, the Yankees could try to call up Ian Hamilton, a reliever who did well in spring training, and then move his opt-out date to next week if he is not added to the roster.

Estevan Florial was still on the team’s roster for Thursday’s game. He replaced Giancarlo Stanton as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and played center field in the ninth.

MLB Trade Rumors reported that Colten Brewer was aware that the Rays wouldn’t give him a big league job right away but the Yankees might put him in the bullpen. If he stays on the roster all year, he will be eligible for arbitration for the first time next winter.

The Yankees already have 40 players on their roster. They have to make a move to make room for Colten Brewer. Ben Rortvedt, Lou Trivino, and Tommy Kahnle are among the players on the injured list and could be moved to the 60-day injured list if the team thinks they will be out for a long time.

Fans are not impressed

The silence from fans, who were confused by the trade, was deafening. Three-fifths of the New York Yankees’ starting rotation is on the injured list right now and they expected a star signing. Colten Brewer, who has only started four games (all in 2020) and has a career WAR of 0.4, wasn’t exactly what fans were hoping for. Colten Brewer has played in the major leagues for four years and has a career record of 2-5 with a 5.04 ERA and a 7.00 WHIP.

Many Yankees fans joked about signing Cordero while others opined that the team could trade second baseman Gleyber Torres for pitching help. But few thought that the team would trade a journeyman reliever for cash.

Some are happy to see Colten Brewer join the New York Yankees but are quick to remind him that the team’s rule against having facial hair is still in place. Even though MLB rules have changed, some traditions haven’t changed. Even Jason Giambi got rid of his beard and unkempt hair when he joined the Bronx Bombers.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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