The Yankees have a very thin bullpen in 2014, so they have brought in multiple minor league relievers to compete for a bullpen job. They have already invited 13 relievers to camp who are not on the 40-man roster, but now they might have another. The Yankees signed right-handed reliever Cole Kimball to a minor league contract, and though we don't know for sure whether he will be given an invitation to spring training, it seems very likely he will. In that case, the Yankees will now have 27 non-roster players in camp.
Drafted by the Washington Nationals in the 12th round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of New Jersey, Kimball was converted to the bullpen by 2009. In 2011 he made it to the majors as Washington's No. 8 prospect, according to MLB.com, pitching to a 1.93 ERA in 14 innings across 12 games. He actually struck out 11 batters, but also walked 11 batters. Unfortunately, Kimball needed rotator cuff surgery by July and has only pitched 34 innings over the last two seasons. In 2013 he threw 28.1 innings with a 7.31 ERA while being knocked around in 25 games.
It looks like this is what the Yankees are going to be looking at in 2014. Fernando Rodney, Francisco Rodriguez, Mitchell Boggs, and others have all signed, so it doesn't look like the Yankees will be looking at any major league players that are not off the scrap heap. The Yankees are obviously hoping he can regain his previous form, and while the excitement of a former top prospect is there, a shoulder injury might be enough to make Kimball a non-factor this year and in the future.
- Stephen Drew would accept a multi-year deal with an opt-out; time for the Yankees to step up
- Yankees Hot Stove: Creating my 2014 bullpen
- Masahiro Tanaka obtains work visa, will report to Yankees spring training on time
- Masahiro Tanaka to be introduced as a Yankee on Tuesday at 1pm
- Yankees Prospect Profile: Gary Sanchez