Update: Yankees sign Clay Rapada

Mailbag: Biggest 1-2 Punches In Baseball History
Open Thread: 2/18 Camp Notes

6:54pmET: Via David Waldstein, it’s a done deal. The Yankees have signed Rapada to a minor league pact and invited him to Spring Training, replacing Okajima.

5:00pm ET:
Via Bryan Hoch, the Yankees are close to signing Clay Rapada to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. The 30-year-old left-handed reliever was released by the Orioles earlier this week. The Yankees are likely looking for a Hideki Okajima replacement after he failed his physical.

Rapada — not to be confused with Clay Zavada, the guy with the mustache — has 78 appearances and 52.2 big league innings to his credit with the Cubs, Tigers, Rangers, and Orioles. He’s held lefty hitters to a .153/.252/.220 batting line with 9.35 K/9 (26.5 K%), 3.89 BB/9 (11.0 BB%), and 42.0% grounders during that time (just 136 PA) with his mid-80s fastball, mid-70s slider, and funky ass delivery. There’s no such thing as a bad minor league contract, so hooray for LOOGY depth.

Mailbag: Biggest 1-2 Punches In Baseball History
Open Thread: 2/18 Camp Notes
  • Garcia

    I was at the ST game last year where he gave up a mammoth home run to “best-shape-of-his-life-MVP-lock” A-Rod. I definitely wouldn’t want him pitching to righties (nor should he ever have to), but his line against lefties is better than I would have thought for a guy dumped by the O’s.

  • Johnny

    That is a hella funky delivery.

  • vin

    Don’t worry, they’ll find a way to give him a multi-year deal.

  • Bronx Byte

    Rapada could be insurance for Boone Logan if need be.

  • Steve (different one)

    I like it.

  • AC

    We already have 2 in house guys to back up Logan. This is just a depth move that is all.

  • M-Three

    I’m ok with this move since its just a minor league deal. No harm in bringing Rapada in but if we do decide to carry a 2nd lefty I prefer that be Cabral because he has a higher upside.

    I’m just glad Okajima failed his physical. Okajima has been horrible the last couple of years and would have been a waste of a roster spot. I think we all know that Girardi would have put on the roster since he prefers veteran relievers who are crap over young hard throwing relievers with upside. Example, 2010 when they chose to waste a spot on Chan Ho Park over going with Mark Melancon.

    • KL

      David Robertson says hello. I love how you ignore Melancon couldn’t find the plate when he was here. If you are going to attack someone, at least have the facts.

      • Havok9120

        No kidding. Melancon stopped getting chances because he didn’t do much with the chances he was given. That’s kind of how pitching works.

        Especially considering the stockpile of good and better 1 inning arms we have in the majors. Even then, we had a lot of them, now its just silly.

        • brent

          seriously Park was coming off an outstanding year (especially once he switched full time to the pen in the second half) and signed a GUARANTEED ML deal for multiple millions of dollars.

          Melancon had repeatedly failed to throw strikes and essentially was almost unusable. Sorry but the way the world works is the HARD throwing veteran with years of success coming off a real successful year gets the nod over the hard throwing minor leaguer with NO success who can’t throw strikes.

          Say what you will about Girardi but bullpen management is clearly his best attribute as a manager. I’m astounded people could bitch about the bullpens this team has managed to have over the last 4 years.

          • Steve (different one)

            Park signed for $1.2m

          • Jerkface

            Melancon was given 20 disparate innings to prove himself. He was fine, just not given enough room to breath Robertson was allowed to pitch 30 5 ERA innings in 2008 with a 4.5 BB/9. He was given work despite his short comings and allowed to grow into the role.

            Melancon was brought up as a pen-saver both times, forced to throw multiple innings in blow outs. Its no surprise he turned out alright in Houston. He would have been fine if given the chance to grow like Robertson.

          • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

            I was at the third game of the sox series to open 2010. Park had already blown a game in that series and I was devastated when they brought him in. He didn’t give up any runs and Grandersonisthemanderson eventually hit a game winning homer.

        • Rich M.

          Havok, you are 100% on the money. Melancon was hit hard on a number of occasions, so much so to the point where he was relegrated to/only trusted with mop-up gigs.
          Also, Melancon supporters should note that pitching in Houston is a far cry from doing it in New York ……. or Boston. Something to do with “pressure” I believe? ;)

    • TheLastClown

      This post is diallhea.

    • Charles Jannuzi

      Actually Okajima was very good at AAA last year, waiting to get more of a chance with the Red Sox. If he remained in the same shape and could throw like that, you would figure the relief pitching he could do would translate into something pretty effective. Got to wonder about the MRI since Pineda passed (and came up lame) while Okajima has as of this date thrown 8 scoreless innings for the Fukuoka Hawks in Japan.

  • dkidd

    always nice to be reminded how much i hate the rangers

    • Jesse

      And Orioles with Buck Showalter.

  • RetroRob

    The guy is as LOOGY as a LOOGY can be. Tough on lefties, but a 90-year-old grandma could take him deep swinging from the rightside. (Not sure what that says about Marcus Thames.)

    If I remember correctly, he also at times pitches illegally, being off the pitching rubber to try and gain an extra advantage against the batter.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Oh, good. More lefties

    • Steve (different one)

      Nah, they lost one and picked one up. Same number of lefties.

  • AC

    Why did you delete the 2nd post on this thread? Bc it was about Damon? What’s that about.

    • TheLastClown

      Off topic. There’s a thread for that.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    Remember he was pitching against the yanks last year and wasn’t putting his foot on the rubber and the umps never called him on it. I remember micheal Kay was freaking out.

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      Sorry missed retrorob’s comment

  • Monterowasdinero

    I missed WHY Okajima failed his physical. Was it revealed why?

    • Havok9120

      I read somewhere (MBLTR?) that it was his shoulder that scared us off. There weren’t any details though.

    • RetroRob

      When he took his shirt off for the physical, the doctor noticed Okajima had a Red Sox logo tattooed to his left shoulder. Irreparable damage.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Mike E

    Whew! I finally predicted what the ninja would do next!Shameless self promotion/evidence.

  • Total Dominication

    With stats like that he seems to be a very good LOOGY. Why was he released from the O’s of all teams? Is there pitching too good?

  • https://twitter.com/Mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    There’s almost no shot we’re going to break camp with less than two lefties, huh?

    • Steve (different one)

      It’s prob 50-50. There is only one opening. You have a few righties (kontos, delcarmen, whelan, Adam miller, myers, etc) and 3 lefties competing (cabral, oconnor, rapada). The lefties prob have a slight advantage.

      Since its the 6th or 7th man in the bullpen, the decision will be infinitely less important than we will make it out to be simply because it’s one of the only spots up for grabs, and therefore left to discuss.

      • Rookie

        Who do you think gets the spot? — maybe Myers or Cabral, with the rest of the guys stashed away for when they’re needed?

        • Rookie

          I’m guessing Kontos contributes the most this year.

          But I guess the way to keep the most options would be to try to keep Myers on the roster and thus retain him as a Rule 5 draftee, negotiate a deal with Cabral, and stash the rest of the guys away.

  • brent

    Id assume its cabral or rapada and I’m cool with that. Truth is Logan is a decent lefty reliever not really a loogy. SO makinug the last spot in the pen until Joba returns be an actual loogy is fine with me.

    I’m sure there will be no shortage of bitching about it though.

    • Joe

      Logan against righties

      Last 3 years: .798 OPS against,
      2011: .673
      2010: .842
      2009: .932
      2008: .971
      2007: .968
      (these are all pretty small samples)

      Maybe he figured something out in a handful of AB’s last year, or maybe people are putting too much stock in 1 year’s worth of splits for a reliever. Considering he’s had 1 year under .840, I think it’s a bit early to be calling him an overall reliever and not a LOOGY. I hope he repeats it again this year, but I wouldn’t bank on it based on 1 year out of 5.

  • Jerkface

    Rapada would be fine in the pen as long as they deploy him properly. How he has managed to almost compile a 1:1 RHB:LHB ratio of PAs for his career is astounding.

    Use him against tough lefties that won’t get pinch hit for. Don’t let him face righties. Profit from your 0 ERA LOOGY that allows like 1 hit all year.

  • Rookie

    As I recall, Rapada was only good against lefties last year in the minors as opposed to being great as I gather he has been – although I believe I saw that he had dominated against lefties in the majors the past two years, albeit with a very small sample size in both years.

    Has he been injured? In any case, I’m delighted the Yankees grabbed him.

    But why hasn’t anyone else held onto him as LOOGY given his past results?

  • jack knife