Right-hander Ryan Weber has once again rejected an outright assignment in favor of free agency after clearing waivers, the Yankees announced Tuesday. New York designated Weber for assignment for the third time this season back on July 21.
Weber has gone unclaimed on waivers, rejected a minor league assignment and quickly returned to the Yankees on a new minor league deal following each of his prior DFAs, and it wouldn’t at all be surprising to see that same sequence pan out here. Declining the outright assignment is often a formality, allowing veterans of this ilk to quickly scan the league for potential immediate MLB opportunities and perhaps to negotiate a new opt-out date if they ultimately return to the same organization. It’s clear based on how the season has panned out that Weber is comfortable with the Yankees organization and that they find value in hanging onto him as an experienced depth option.
The 31-year-old Weber has now appeared in three games with the Yanks this season — one per stint — and pitched 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He’s punched out just two hitters in that time but also allowed only one walk and induced a massive 60.9% ground-ball rate. His most recent appearance saw him pitch three innings of shutout relief against the Red Sox.
Down in Triple-A this year, Weber has pitched to a 2.55 ERA in 24 2/3 innings while logging a terrific 19-to-1 K/BB ratio. Through parts of eight big league seasons, he has a 5.10 ERA 14.7% strikeout rate, 5.2% walk rate and 53.1% grounder rate in a total of 174 2/3 innings.