The Yankees announced Tuesday that they’ve reinstated Luis Severino from the 60-day injured list. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, New York has designated infielder Breyvic Valera for assignment.
Severino’s return to the rotation tonight will be a boon for a Yankees club that has seen its starters struggle immensely in the season’s second half. If Severino is able to quickly round back into form, he’ll surely play a prominent role in the team’s postseason pitching plans. The 25-year-old righty, who signed a four-year, $40MM contract extension in the offseason, has yet to pitch this season due to shoulder and lat injuries but gave the Yankees 384 2/3 innings of 3.18 ERA ball (3.01 FIP) with 10.5 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 from 2017-18.
The 27-year-old Valera, claimed off waivers from the Giants earlier this season, appeared in a dozen games for the Yankees and hit .219/.324/.313 in 37 plate appearances. He’s appeared with four different big league teams in the past three seasons, having also spent time with the Orioles, Dodgers and Cardinals. (Valera never played in the Majors with the Giants.) Los Angeles sent him to Baltimore in last summer’s Manny Machado swap, though it was clear at the time of the deal that he wasn’t as well regarded as the younger players sent to the O’s in that trade.
In parts of four Triple-A seasons, Valera has a .302/.374/.442 batting line. He’s spent the bulk of his career in the minors at second base but also has 1434 innings at shortstop, 823 innings at third base, 932 innings in left field, 303 innings in right field and 68 innings in center under his belt. Valera will be out of minor league options next season, so any club that claims him would either have to include him on 2020’s Opening Day roster or attempt to pass him through waivers themselves.