Amidst the Alex Rodriguez news, the Yankees have signed right-handed reliever Robert Coello to a minor league deal. I'm assuming there's also an invite to Spring Training for Coello in the deal as well.
Coello, 29, pitched last season for the Los Angeles Angels and put up a 3.71 ERA and a 2.52 FIP in 16 relief outings and 17 innings pitched. What makes Coello interesting is his strikeout numbers. He posted a 12.2 K/9 and 31.5% K-rate in his limited time last season. In his career in the majors, which also includes stints with the Red Sox in 2010 and the Blue Jays in 2012, Coello has a 5.90 ERA and 3.58 FIP (12.1 K/9, 30% K-rate) in 28 appearances. He issues plenty of walks, too (career 5.3 BB/9, 13% BB-rate), but the strikeouts are interesting nonetheless.
Coello has also seen plenty of action in the minors. In 187 career appearances (156 in relief), he has a 3.39 ERA. Like he has shown at the Major League level, Coello has done a good job of racking up the strikeouts (10.1 K/9), while allowing plenty of walks as well (4.0 BB/9). While pitching for the Angels' Triple-A team last season, Coello pitched to a 4.58 ERA, 14.2 K/9, and 5 BB/9 in 16 appearances and 19.2 innings.
Unlike most minor league signings, Coello may have a fair shot to crack this year's bullpen. It's painfully obvious the team is thin in the bullpen, and he has experience at the Major League level, which is something the Yankees like. New York has had some success with under-the-radar reliever pickups in the past (Luis Ayala and Cory Wade come to mind) and Coello could be the next on that list.
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