Aug. 5: Kahnle’s surgery was performed yesterday, Heyman tweets.
This isn’t surprising news, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported just minutes ago that Kahnle was probably going in this direction. Still, the fact that it’s now official is unfortunate for him and the Yankees. Kahnle, 30, has been an important part of their bullpen since they acquired him from the White Sox in a 2017 blockbuster trade. Since rejoining the Yankees, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Kahnle has logged a 4.01 ERA/3.23 FIP with 12.58 K/9, 3.69 BB/9 and a 44.8 percent groundball rate over 112 1/3 innings.
While Kahnle won’t be easily replaceable for the Yankees, the World Series contenders are well-equipped to soldier on without him. After all, the team also has Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Chad Green as other prominent late-game arms.
Kahnle’s season-ending injury takes a quality option away, though, and now it’s in question whether he will pitch for the Yankees again. Considering the timing of this surgery, Kahnle may not be ready to return until very late next season or at the beginning of 2022. In the meantime, the Yankees will have to decide whether to tender him a contract for his final arbitration-eligible season in 2021. He’s on a prorated $2.65MM salary this year, and that number should stay the same next season.