The Yankees have announced that they signed Tim Locastro to a major league deal. The official terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s unlikely that Locastro will make much more than the veteran minimum. The Yankees 40-man roster is now full.
The Yankees acquired Locastro from the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor leaguer Keegan Curtis on July 1 of last season. The deal marked the fourth time in his career that Locastro had been traded. In fact, the Yankees themselves had traded Locastro to the Diamondbacks prior to the 2019 season. Locastro had been in the Yankees’ organization for just a couple of months during that offseason, never having appeared actively on the diamond for the Yankees.
This time around, the speedster injured his right ACL on July 17th, undergoing season-ending surgery just four days later. In the little more than two weeks that Locastro wore pinstripes, Locastro slashed .190/.217/.429 over 23 plate appearances. As has been the pattern for Locastro, he was mostly viewed as a speed option off the bench. Coming off a knee injury, there must at least be some concern that Locastro will lose a step.
Defensively, Locastro can play anywhere in the outfield. He’s not going to take a lot of playing time from Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo, and Aaron Hicks, but if he makes the roster, he could be the body that the Yankees use to keep those other three fresh. As a 29-year-old with a career 82 wRC+, there may not be tremendous upside to his game, but he’s not without skills. Locastro’s speed is unique, but he’s also very capable of putting the ball in play (19.1 percent career strikeout rate), which should help him put that speed to use. Power, on the other hand, has not traditionally been a part of Locastro’s game (.097 ISO). The Yankees may view Locastro as a complementary skillset to the power-first approach of the outfield starters.