July 25: The Yankees have announced the move. Abad has been added to the 60-man player pool and assigned to the Yankees’ alternate training facility in Scranton.
July 24: The Yankees have agreed to a deal with left-hander Fernando Abad, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (via Twitter). The veteran reliever was recently cut loose by the Nationals. It’s likely a minor league pact for Abad, who missed Summer Camp with the Nats while quarantining after a positive Covid-19 diagnosis. Now that he’s been cleared to return to action, he’ll likely head to the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton and provide the club with some additional bullpen depth. Abad is represented by the MAS+ Agency.
The 34-year-old Abad is a veteran of nine Major League seasons who carries a lifetime 3.67 ERA at the big league level. He’s pitched for six clubs — most recently the Giants in 2019 — and averaged 7.6 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and 1.14 HR/9 with a 41.5 percent ground-ball rate. He’s held lefties to a .234/.283/.378 slash and yielded a .257/.338/.412 slash to righties. Obviously, the latter isn’t particularly encouraging, but Abad’s splits aren’t quite as glaring as is the case with many traditional, pure lefty specialists.
Abad will add another lefty option to a Yankees organization that is a bit limited in that regard. Closer Aroldis Chapman is on the Covid-19 list at the moment, leaving Zack Britton as his likely replacement and Luis Avilan as the lone lefty setup option. Tyler Lyons had been the only left-handed reliever at the Yankees’ Scranton site, so bringing Abad into the mix addresses a depth need in rather straightforward fashion. The Yankees had some space in their 60-man player pool as it is, so they needn’t make a corresponding move once Abad’s deal becomes official.