The Yankees recently agreed to a minor league deal with reliever Joey Gerber, according to his transactions log at MLB.com. He’s been assigned to the organization’s complex in Florida, where he’ll presumably build into game shape before heading to an upper level affiliate.
Gerber, 25, was released by the Mariners in late June. The 6’4″ righty had dealt with a forearm strain for most of the first few months of the year, tossing a lone inning of complex ball with Seattle this season. That came on the heels of a 2021 campaign spent entirely on the minor league injured list, derailing Gerber’s attempts to carve out a role in the Mariners bullpen.
A former eighth-round draft choice, Gerber has 17 MLB appearances under his belt — all of which came with the Mariners during the abbreviated 2020 season. He tallied 15 2/3 innings of 4.02 ERA ball, averaging a decent 93.5 MPH on his fastball but only striking out 9.7% of batters faced. He’s missed bats at a much better rate in the minors, including a robust 31.3% strikeout rate in 22 2/3 frames at Double-A to close out the 2019 campaign. Baseball America had rated Gerber among the mid-tier prospects in the Seattle farm system before his recent spate of injuries, writing that his sinker-slider combination gave him a chance to be a high-leverage reliever.
It’s a no-risk dice roll for the Yankees to see if Gerber’s pre-injury form carries over after a lost season and a half. The Illinois product is still young enough to potentially carve out a middle innings role in the Bronx if he’s able to log some upper minors work over the next two months.