The Yankees and right-hander Nick Tropeano have agreed to terms on a minor league contract, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets. Tropeano, who is represented by the Bledsoe Agency, will be invited to Major League Spring Training.
It’s something of a homecoming for the 29-year-old Tropeano — a Long Island native who has spent the past five seasons in the Angels organization. When healthy, the 2011 fifth-round pick has pitched to a reasonable level of effectiveness, but injuries have hampered the righty rather consistently. Shoulder troubles have dogged Tropeano since 2015, and he underwent Tommy John surgery late in the 2016 season. At his best, Tropeano tossed 106 innings of 3.65 ERA ball with 9.0 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9 and a 36 percent ground-ball rate in 2015-16.
This past season was a particularly rough one for Tropeano, though, as he struggled to keep his ERA under 6.00 in the supercharged Triple-A offensive environment and also yielded 15 runs in 13 2/3 MLB frames.
With the Yankees, Tropeano can provide some depth in both the rotation and the bullpen, though he’s a long shot to make the Opening Day roster. New York currently projects to break camp with a rotation of Gerrit Cole, Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ. The Yankees have endeavored to move the remainder of Happ’s contract, but even if they’re able to succeed, they can install left-hander Jordan Montgomery in the back of the rotation to begin the year. Tropeano could compete with the out-of-options Luis Cessa for a long relief spot, but it seems likelier that he’ll head to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to open the season (if he doesn’t land with another club following a spring release or opt-out).