In a move that could really strengthen their pitching staff if everything works well, the New York Yankees have signed a former All-Star.

Danny Salazar, who pitched for the Cleveland Guardians (then the Cleveland Indians) from 2013-2017 and again in 2019, has been signed to a minor-league deal by the Yankees.

Salazar has a connection with the Yankees in pitching coach Matt Blake, who was a coach in Cleveland’s organization in 2015 and 2016. The two will certainly be working with each other in New York.

Overall, the move was met with cautious optimism.

In his last full MLB season in 2017, Salazar posted a 4.28 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 1.34 WHIP, and struck out 145 hitters in only 103 innings. He was an All-Star the year before, putting up a 3.87 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and striking out 161 hitters in 137.1 innings for Cleveland’s American League Championship squad.

The strikeout totals were no doubt enticing to the Yankees. In his career, Salazar has a K/9 rate of of 10.5. And while we haven’t seen him for a full MLB season since 2017 or at all since 2019, he’s only 32. If everything goes well, it would be quite a comeback story, but crazier things have happened.

Salazar is a low-risk option for the Yankees. It’s a minor-league contract, so it’s not for big money. If he struggles in his Minor League outings, the Yankees can simply release him and move on. But if he does perform well and shows even some of the form that he had in 2016, New York will have improved its pitching staff without having to trade anyone or even spend big money on a pitcher.

How Salazar will pitch remains to be seen. But regardless of how things play out, this is a savvy signing for the Yankees.

[Mike Rodriguez]

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.