The Yankees have signed left-hander Tanner Tully to a minor league deal, according to a report from Matt Eddy of Baseball America. It’s unclear if the lefty will receive an invitation to major league Spring Training.
It’s the second straight offseason in which the Yanks have brought Tully aboard on a minors pact. He made 19 starts at the Triple-A level last year with a 5.64 earned run average, posting a subpar 18.6% strikeout rate but limiting walks to a 6.4% clip and keeping 40.7% of balls in play on the ground.
He was released in August to join the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization and finished the year on a strong note. He made 11 starts for the Dinos with a 2.92 ERA. His 17.7% strikeout rate was still not especially strong, but his 4.9% walk rate and 59.6% ground ball rate were both quite encouraging.
That has generally been the profile for Tully in his minor league career, which dates back to being drafted by Cleveland in 2016. He’s never had a walk rate higher than 8.2% at any stop of his minor league career and has induced a fair share of grounders, but he’s also never been a big strikeout guy. He has six innings of major league experience, which came with the Guardians in 2022.
The Yankees have a reputation for loving ground ball guys and they also need some extra rotation depth, having included Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito and Randy Vásquez in the Juan Soto trade. They will have Gerrit Cole leading the major league rotation, with Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes and Clarke Schmidt to follow. They also seem likely to add someone else, having been connected to names like Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Marcus Stroman and Dylan Cease.
Tully, now 29, can provide them with some depth at the Triple-A level alongside guys like Clayton Beeter, Luis Gil, Yoendrys Gómez, Cody Poteet and Will Warren. He’s also done some relief work in the past and could perhaps slide into a bullpen role later. The Yanks lost their primary lefty ground ball guy, Wandy Peralta, to free agency at the end of the 2023 season. If Tully is added to the roster at any point, he still has a full slate of options and just 15 days of service time.