The Yankees have signed left-handed reliever Danny Coulombe to a minor league contract for a second time, Conor Foley of the Scranton Times-Tribune reports (via Twitter). New York brought Coulombe into the fold on a minor league pact last winter but gave him his release from the organization on July 1. Coulombe signed with the Brewers a couple of weeks later but opted out of that deal late last month and is now returning to the Yanks.
Coulombe, 29, is a veteran of parts of five Major League seasons split between the Dodgers and Athletics. From 2016-18 with the A’s, the former 25th-round pick tallied 123 innings with a 4.10 ERA and a 119-to-50 K/BB ratio in 123 innings of relief work. In that time, Coulombe limited opposing left-handed batters to a paltry .237/.298/.338 batting line and allowed just four home runs to same-handed foes.
The 2019 season has been a bizarre one for Coulombe. He’s spent the year in an explosive offensive environment in Triple-A and served up nine home runs in 36 1/3 innings of work (2.2 HR/9). But, Coulombe has also missed at an eye-popping level — the likes of which we’ve never seen from the 5’10” southpaw. While he’s posted double-digit K/9 marks throughout his minor league tenure, Coulombe has turned in a superlative 15.1 K/9 mark in 2019. He’s totaled 61 strikeouts in his 36 1/3 frames, striking out 36 percent of the total hitters he’s faced.
Coulombe is still in line to be a free agent at season’s end, unless the Yankees opt to add him to the Major League roster, at which point he’d be arbitration-eligible (and also a non-tender candidate). Coulombe’s official return to the organization came on Aug. 31 — he was initially assigned to Class-A Tampa but did not pitch there — so he could technically be a postseason option if the Yankees see fit to carry him. If not, he can at least give Aaron Boone another lefty setup/middle relief option alongside Zack Britton, Nestor Cortes Jr. and recently selected Tyler Lyons should he find his way to the MLB level.