4:00pm: The Yankees announced that they’ve selected Kontos’ contract and placed lefty CC Sabathia on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right knee. Jordan Montgomery, who underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year, was moved to the 60-day DL to open a roster spot for Kontos. Additionally, the Yankees recalled Ronald Torreyes from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned Luke Voit to Triple-A in his place.
It’s not yet clear who’ll step into Sabathia’s rotation spot, although right-handers Sonny Gray and Chance Adams would appear to be the likeliest choices. Gray was recently demoted to a bullpen role after struggling for much of the season, while Adams made his MLB debut and struggled in a spot start earlier this month.
2:55pm: The Yankees have selected the contract of right-hander George Kontos, tweets George A. King III of the New York Post. A corresponding move has yet to be announced, but Lindsey Adler of The Athletic tweets that Kontos is already in the clubhouse, so a corresponding move should be revealed in short order.
It’s a full-circle promotion for Kontos, whom the Yankees drafted in the fifth round back in 2006. Kontos was taken by the Padres in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft but returned to the Yanks before appearing in the Majors, and he ultimately debuted in the Bronx during the 2011 season. However, Kontos only totaled six innings in pinstripes, as the Yankees flipped him to the Giants in exchange for catcher Chris Stewart the following April.
Kontos went on to cement himself as a quality bullpen option in San Francisco over the next six seasons, working to a 3.05 ERA with 7.3 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9 in 309 innings as a Giant before being somewhat surprisingly let go on waivers last summer. The Pirates picked him up at that point and enjoyed 14 2/3 quality innings out of Kontos down the stretch in 2017 (1.84 ERA), but his strikeout rate, swinging-strike rate and velocity cratered in Pittsburgh earlier this season, leading him to eventually be designated for assignment. Kontos had a stop in the Indians organization as well but was recently flipped to the Yankees in exchange for cash considerations.
All in all, Kontos returns to the Yankees organization with a career 3.12 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 2.6 BB/9, 0.96 HR/9 and a 43.6 percent ground-ball rate in 355 2/3 innings at the big league level. He’ll presumably slide into a middle-relief role, though given the general depth of the New York bullpen, it’s far from a guarantee that he’s ticketed for a lengthy stint in the Bronx.