In a surprising move, the Yankees announced Tuesday that they’ve optioned lefty Jordan Montgomery to the team’s alternate site in Scranton. The Yanks also selected the contracts of non-roster veterans Luis Avilan, Chris Iannetta and David Hale.
New York also announced that non-roster righty Dan Otero has been placed on the restricted list. Meanwhile, each of Matt Duffy, Estevan Florial, Deivi Garcia, Zack Granite, Erik Kratz, Brooks Kriske, Tyler Lyons, Nick Nelson, Clarke Schmidt, Nick Tropeano, Miguel Yajure and Tony Zych has been reassigned to the team’s alternate site.
Montgomery, 27, seemed like a lock for a rotation spot to begin the season. It seems likely that he’ll be called back to the big leagues in short order, but it seems that the Yankees will roll out Gerrit Cole, James Paxton and a either Mike King or a bullpen game in their first three contests. Manager Aaron Boone indicated as much today an added that J.A. Happ is expected to start the fourth game (Twitter link via WFAN’s Sweeny Murti), so Montgomery may not join the club until its second trip through the rotation. An off-day should allow Cole to start the team’s fifth game.
Avilan, 31, has a strong big league track record but stumbled to a 5.06 ERA and 4.96 FIP in 32 frames with the Mets last year. That forced him to settle for a minor league deal over the winter, but Avilan has a career 3.28 ERA and 3.41 FIP with averages of 8.1 strikeouts, 3.5 walks and 0.5 home runs per nine innings pitched. He’s held opposing lefties to a putrid .203/.280/.283 slash since his 2012 MLB debut and has held righties in check reasonably well: .259/.340/.374.
The 37-year-old Iannetta gives the Yankees a third catcher behind Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka early in the season when rosters are expanded to 30 players. The 14-year veteran hasn’t hit particularly well in recent seasons but has a long track record of quality on-base percentages thanks to a gaudy 13.5 percent walk rate in his career. Iannetta posted a .254/.354/.511 slash in 316 plate appearances as recently as 2017, but his two-year reunion with his original club, the Rockies, didn’t go well; in 524 plate appearances over the past two seasons in Colorado, Iannetta hit .223/.335/.395 (85 OPS+, 80 wRC+).
Hale’s boomerang act with the Yankees is well-documented by this point. He’s signed a ridiculous five minor league contracts with the Yankees since Jan. 2018 and, despite being jettisoned from the roster so many times, fared quite well. Hale has racked up 48 1/3 innings across his scattered stints in the Bronx and, amid constant roster uncertainty, pitched to a strong 2.98 ERA with a 29-to-8 K/BB ratio. He’s plenty capable of working in multi-inning stints, which should prove particularly valuable early in the year as the club both manages workloads and apparently tinkers with the occasional opener/bullpen game.
Sounds like Mike King beat him out for the #5 starter job.
But tanaka isn’t pitching so there’s still 4 starters lol
i think indications suggest Tanaka will be ready relatievely soon
No he didn’t. It’s just to keep the extra reliever up until Montgomery is needed since the 10 day optional rule isn’t a thing this year
Can someone with more knowledge of MLB transactions explain the Montgomery option? Is it just a scheduling thing and they’ll move him back to roster?
They are keeping him down most likely to keep an extra reliever on the roster. Another reason behind this could be they want to keep Cole on normal rest (Yanks have an off day Friday), so there is no real need for a fifth starter until second time through the rotation.
Good call regarding Montgomery. And if they call him back up in time this won’t count as an option year.
Last check the Yankees had a 39 man roster, with Severino on the 60 day DL, which means maybe Holder/Abreu are DFA’d or a trade. Maybe I was miscounting though. Do guys on the COVID DL count against the 40 man?
Three players will constitute a taxi squad on road trips. I’ll bet that Gumby will be in Washington, just not active. He will probably be activated in Philly
Who cares about the NBA babies
Ubaldo was released by Rockies yesterday
This makes absolutely no sense. Especially with how good Monty has pitched this spring
Cashman has always been a deer in the headlights.
Can you give me one instance.
Bruce the troll cannot.
Nothing to worry about, there’s no need to for Montgomery until the second week. The yanks would rather have the extra reliever for the first few games. In a couple of weeks the rotation will be Cole, Paxton, Tanaka, Happ, Montgomery
This seems kind of odd… why intentionally go with a bullpen game instead of just starting Montgomery in game 3? Unless Kind really did just flat out beat him out for the start!? Regardless my guess is he’ll be in the rotation within a few weeks of the season starting… maybe they felt he could just benefit from an extra week of getting up to speed/increasing endurance or whatever.
Makes no sense. A bullpen game already in a short season? Way too soon to overuse relievers so they’re burnt out, especially when Monty was pitching so well
i imagine its King. they must think he lines up better for Tanaka’s spot, then when they need a 5th starter theyll call up Monty for the 5th spot and slide Tanaka into King’s spot.
There are expanded rosters for a few weeks. There’s no point using a spot for a starter that isn’t going to pitch.
Where is Rosell Herrera? I haven’t seen him play for a while! When he did play, he was pretty nice player to have plus he’s a switch hitter!!
Boone said he had a heel injury.
He should make the team right?
Given that he is not on the 40 man roster and was not part of this announcement, I would assume that he will not be ready.
I’m surprised he’s not on the 40 man roster. He can play different positions. Will if reappears.
Forgot they even signed Avilan