The Yankees have released veteran right-hander Nathan Eovaldi, per a club announcement. Also cut loose were southpaw Joe Mantiply and righty Nick Rumbelow. All three pitchers were designated for assignment ten days ago, and obviously no trades or claims were in the offing.
With the move, the 26-year-old Eovaldi will be available to the highest bidder for the first time in his career. It’s surely not how he envisioned reaching free agency — Tommy John and flexor tendon surgery made him a clear non-tender candidate in his final year of arbitration eligibility — and he won’t exactly be lining up a monster payday. But there figure to be plenty of interested teams given his intriguing pitching arsenal and young age.
It’s not yet clear what kind of deal Eovaldi will seek. Some players elect to rehab on their own and then throw before signing, as reliever Greg Holland is doing at present. Others ink multi-year deals that lock in some guaranteed money but provide upside to the signing team, as pitchers such as Kris Medlen have done in recent years.
It’s at least somewhat surprising that New York released Mantiply. He had been claimed off waivers just ten days before he was designated, seemingly suggesting that the organization hoped he’d be a candidate to be stashed upon his removal from the 40-man roster. Instead, the 25-year-old will hit the open market.
Rumbelow also just turned 25. He moved quickly through the minors and had a solid debut in the majors in 2015. But he went down early in the 2016 season and ultimately underwent a TJ procedure of his own. Rumbelow figures to draw interest from organizations intrigued at the possibility of gaining cheap control over a useful reliever in the event that his rehab is successful.