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Yankees add a trio of pitchers to major league roster, release Tim Locastro

The Yankees did some 40-man roster maneuvering, and bid adieu to a backup outfielder.

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees announced a series of minor moves this afternoon, adding right-handed pitcher Jhony Brito and left-handed pitcher Matt Krook to the 40-man roster. Outfielder Tim Locastro elected free agency, rather than accept an outright assignment to the minors and off of the major league roster.

Krook’s and Brito’s additions to the roster protects them in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, which will be held at the end of the winter meetings next month. Players who were signed at age-18 must be added to the 40-man within five seasons, and players signed older than that within four seasons, or else be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft. The deadline to protect prospects is November 15.

Brito, 24, does have a bit of prospect shine to him. MLB Pipeline has him ranked as the 22nd-best prospect in the Yankee system, coming off a year in which he managed a 2.96 ERA, mostly as a starter, in the high minors. Brito can sit in the mid-90s with his fastball and also possesses a quality changeup. He certainly would’ve been a reasonable target for opposing teams in the Rule 5.

At age-28, Krook doesn’t have the same level of prospect sheen. He holds a 3.76 ERA in Triple-A, with big strikeout and walk totals; for his minor league career, he’s fanned 10.7 per nine and walked 5.8 (!) per nine.

Locastro was a useful pinch-runner and defensive replacement, but the 30-year-old would’ve had to accept an assignment to Scranton in order for the Yankees to clear his roster spot. The veteran will instead hit free agency, and see if a big league club has interest in his speed-and-defense skillset.

Update (5:15pm ET): The Yankees made another move, adding pitcher Jimmy Cordero to the major league roster:

The 31-year-old last appeared in the majors with the White Sox in 2020. He owns a 4.55 ERA+ in 83 career big league innings. Cordero spent the 2022 season as veteran depth in the Yankee minor league system, pitching to a 2.09 ERA in 38.2 innings with Scranton.