The Yankees have acquired righty A.J. Cole from the Nationals, per club announcements. Cash considerations will go to the Washington organization in return. To clear a roster spot, the Yankees designated fellow right-hander David Hale for assignment.
Cole, 26, had recently been designated by the Nats after a poor start to the current season. Originally a fourth-round pick, he was a part of two notable trades swung by the organization, first going to the Athletics in the Gio Gonzalez swap and then returning to D.C. (along with Blake Treinen and Ian Krol) in the three-team arrangement in which the Nationals sent Michael Morse to the Mariners and the A’s picked up John Jaso.
Entering the season, the Nationals planned to utilize Cole as their fifth starter. But he struggled in two turns through the rotation, leading the club to bump him to the pen in favor of Jeremy Hellickson. Cole ultimately made two relief appearances but failed to show signs of improvement. In his 10 1/3 innings on the season, he has allowed 15 earned runs and six home runs while compiling ten strikeouts against six walks.
Cole is out of options, so he’ll go directly onto the Yankees’ MLB roster, where he could work as a longman from the bullpen. He’ll replace Hale, who threw two scoreless innings tonight for the Yanks but had opened the year at Triple-A. In his three starts there, he worked to a 5.52 ERA with a 10:2 K/BB ratio in 14 2/3 innings. He has not seen the majors since 2016; in parts of four seasons in the bigs, Hale owns a 4.48 ERA over 178 2/3 frames.