The Yankees recently signed a number of players to minor league contracts, as reported by Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. Among those that haven’t previously been covered at MLBTR: left-handers Tanner Tully and Nick Ramirez, righty Ryan Weber and infielder Jamie Westbrook.
Tully had spent his entire career in the Cleveland system. A 26th round pick in 2016, he worked his way to the majors for the first time this year. Tully appeared out of Terry Francona’s bullpen three times, allowing four runs in six innings. He spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A Columbus, where he started 24 of 28 outings. Through 122 innings, the Ohio State product put up a 4.72 ERA with a modest 18.5% strikeout percentage but an excellent 4.9% walk rate.
The 28-year-old doesn’t throw hard, averaging just under 91 MPH on his fastball during his MLB time. He’s a quality strike-thrower who has gotten average or better grounder rates in the minors of late. He’ll presumably open the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and serve as rotation or long relief depth.
That’s a role with which Weber is also familiar. He spent the 2022 campaign in the Yankees organization, shuttling on and off their roster whenever the club needed to cover some innings. The 32-year-old made five appearances, all in relief. He allowed just one run across 10 2/3 innings with a trio of strikeouts and a walk. That marked his eighth consecutive year logging some big league action, and he has a 5.02 ERA across 177 2/3 career frames.
Like Tully, Weber is a soft-tossing control specialist. He consistently racks up grounders on over half the batted balls he allows, including a robust 53.5% rate in 39 2/3 frames for Scranton this past season. Weber walked just 3% of opponents with the RailRiders, albeit with a 16.5% strikeout rate.
Ramirez, 33, adds some left-handed relief depth to the mix. He appeared in the big leagues in each season between 2019-21, suiting up with the Tigers and Padres. Between the two clubs, he posted a 4.55 ERA with a 20.4% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk percentage across 110 2/3 innings. Ramirez spent the entire 2022 campaign working out of the bullpen with the Mariners highest affiliate in Tacoma. He had a nice season, working to a 2.93 ERA with a 23.7% strikeout percentage and 46% ground-ball rate through 55 1/3 frames. That wasn’t enough to crack an excellent Seattle bullpen, but he’ll try to work his way back to the majors in the Bronx.
Westbrook has yet to play in the big leagues. The 27-year-old has played almost a decade in the minors, spending parts of four seasons at Triple-A. He looked like to be under consideration for an MLB call when the Tigers acquired him from the Brewers in an April trade. That proved not to be, as the former fifth-round draftee spent the year at Triple-A Toledo. Westbrook hit .248/.349/.377 across 499 plate appearances, showing solid plate discipline without much power. He’s primarily a second baseman but has experience in the corner outfield; he’ll add some defensive flexibility to the upper levels of the system.