According to Mark Feinsand, the Yankees have claimed righty reliever Jake Barrett off waivers from the Pirates. The Yankees have since announced Ben Heller has been moved to the 60-day injured list to clear a 40-man roster spot. Barrett is heading to Triple-A Scranton.
It has been a busy few weeks for Barrett. He went from the Diamondbacks to the Giants on waivers in February, the Giants to the Pirates on waivers in March, and now the Pirates to the Yankees on waivers in April. This is his final minor league option year. The Yankees can send him up and down as any times as they want in 2019.
Barrett, 27, was once an interesting relief prospect with Arizona. He threw 59.1 innings with a 3.49 ERA (4.14 FIP) and 22.4% strikeouts as a rookie in 2016. Barrett has been unable to build on that though, and he’s spent the last two years as a shuttle reliever with the D’Backs. He’ll likely do the same with the Yankees this year.
With all due respect, Barrett is a fairly generic mid-90s fastball/mid-80s slider guy with unspectacular spin rates and a sizeable platoon split. Ten years ago a guy like this would’ve been a high-leverage candidate. These days he’s a depth arm and a middle reliever candidate. Maybe the Yankees have a plan to help Barrett get more out of his stuff.
Heller (Tommy John surgery) joins Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery) on the 60-day injured list. Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery) and likely Jacoby Ellsbury (hip surgery) remain as 60-day injured list candidates whenever the Yankees need another 40-man roster spot.