Whitley, 26, underwent Tommy John surgery in May after having thrown 19 1/3 useful innings for the Yankees early in the season. The former 15th-rounder posted a 4.19 ERA with a 16-to-5 K/BB ratio across four starts in the Yankees’ rotation before falling to injury.
Given the timing of his operation, Whitley won’t be ready to open the season on the Rays’ roster, so he’ll presumably land on the 60-day DL to begin next season (assuming he survives the winter on the 40-man roster). He’ll provide the Rays with an MLB-ready pitching option once healthy, however, replenishing some depth lost by Tampa Bay following the trade of Nate Karns. Whitley has a career 2.89 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in 196 1/3 career innings at the Triple-A level.