The Yankees announced this afternoon that they claimed right-handed pitcher Parker Bridwell of waivers from the Angels. In order to make room for Bridwell on the 40-man roster, the team designated infielder Ronald Torreyes for assignment. 40-man spots are at a premium with next month’s Rule 5 Draft looming, and Torreyes drew the short straw.
The move will surely come as a surprise to some Yankees fans, as Torreyes had established himself as a fan and clubhouse favorite over his three years in New York. His contributions on the field, though, were unspectacular over that span, as Torreyes’ .281/.308/.374 slash line amounted to just an 81 OPS+. His assignment also comes on the heels of a season in which he posted a 78 OPS+ and was shuttled to and from the minors, as the Yankees showed they wouldn’t let sentiment get in the way of clearing space for superior players.
Bridwell, 27, made just five appearances for the Angels in 2018, giving up 13 runs in 6.2 innings. His season ended in July after he underwent surgery on his right elbow. He was much more impressive in 2017, however, posting a 3.64 ERA, good for a 117 ERA+, across 121 innings. Bridwell will presumably provide the Yankees with a little more pitching depth in the high minors. He is pre-arb eligible and can’t become a free agent before 2025.
With Torreyes set to hit arbitration this season, this move does save the Yankees money, though they are certainly not a team that should be pinching pennies in order to save a few hundred thousand dollars. It’s never fun to see a likable player DFA’d, but Torreyes’ leash was always going to be short given his on-field limitations. Hopefully he lands a new team to stick with, or clears waivers and finds his way back to the Bronx.