The Yankees have granted veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin so that he may explore options with other teams, general manager Brian Cashman announced to reporters Monday (Twitter link via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com). Fellow veterans Derek Dietrich and Robinson Chirinos have agreed to new deals that will keep them with the Yankees, per the GM. They’ll head to the team’s alternate site to begin the season.
Chacin, 33, pitched just five big league innings with the Braves in 2020 and struggled considerably between Milwaukee and Boston through 103 1/3 frames in 2019. As recently as 2018, he was a solid member of the Brewers’ rotation, though, pitching to a 3.50 ERA through 192 2/3 innings. He’s spent parts of a dozen seasons in the Majors and carries a career 4.04 ERA in 1324 innings — despite many of those innings coming at the hitter-friendly Coors Field in Colorado. Chacin has been solid in camp with the Yankees, allowing four runs on eight hits and four walks with nine strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old Dietrich drew five walks in just 33 plate appearances, showing the type of discipline that he’s developed in recent years. However, he was just 4-for-24 with a homer overall and didn’t do enough to beat out fellow veteran Jay Bruce for a roster spot, even though Dietrich has more defensive versatility.
Dietrich, a lefty-hitting utility man, has ample experience at second base and all four corner spots, so he could be called upon in the event of a variety of injury scenarios at the MLB level. He’s morphed into a three-true-outcomes slugger over the past couple years, hitting .189/.332/.462 with 24 homers in just 381 plate appearances dating back to 2019.
The 36-year-old Chirinos, meanwhile, appeared in just five games and recorded seven plate appearances before suffering a fractured wrist that sidelined him for much of camp. The veteran catcher will continue his rehab with the Yankees at their alternate site and could eventually emerge as an option at the big league level depending on health and performance of top catchers Gary Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka. Chirinos posted poor numbers in a small sample of 82 plate appearances between the Rangers and Mets in 2020, but he batted .238/.347/.443 with 17 homers in 114 games as recently as 2019.