The Yankees will designate right-hander George Kontos for assignment in order to open a spot on the roster for righty Luis Cessa, per Newsday’s Erik Boland (Twitter link). He’d only been selected to the MLB roster two days prior.
Kontos, 33, appeared in one game in his reunion with the Yankees — the organization that originally drafted him — tossing 1 2/3 shutout innings with just one hit allowed and a pair of strikeouts. He’s pitched with the Pirates, Indians and Yankees this season, totaling 26 2/3 frames with a 4.39 ERA, 15 strikeouts and seven walks in that time.
Though Kontos has generally delivered respectable bottom-line results so far in 2018, his velocity, swinging-strike rate and overall strikeout rate have dipped substantially from 2017 to 2018. He has a quality track record as a useful middle reliever over the past six seasons with the Giants (and, late in 2017, with the Pirates), though he’s already cleared waivers once this season despite that past success. The Yankees will have a week to trade him or pass him through outright waivers in hopes of retaining him, although Kontos has enough service time to reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.