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Dan Otero: The Yankee who got away

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Leon Halip

Dan Otero was a Yankee for a angle day. They selected him off waivers from the Giants before losing him off waivers to the Athletics while trying to stash him away in Triple-A. In 2012, Otero had a 5.84 ERA and a 5.84 K/9 in only 12.1 innings as a 27-year-old rookie, so he probably looked like a complete dumpster dive move to the fans and someone who would be quickly forgotten.

I completely forgot about him for awhile, until I heard that he was actually really good this season. At the age of 28, Otero had a 1.38 ERA and a 2.12 FIP in 39 innings. His 6.23 K/9 wasn't very exciting, but a 1.38 BB/9 more than made up for it. He also gave up zero home runs and had an excellent 56% ground ball rate in 2013.

No Yankee reliever had a higher GB%, a lower ERA or FIP, and his walk rate was only beaten by Mariano Rivera. If he was still on the Yankees, he would have been the third best pitcher in the bullpen with a 0.8 WAR, behind only David Robertson and Mo.

Of course, It might not have all worked out so perfectly, though a ground ball pitcher would likely work out great in Yankee Stadium. The Athletics had the seventh best bullpen in baseball, while the Yankees were down at No. 16. Maybe the A's coaching staff was able to pull more out of them or maybe they just had more talented pitchers, but Dan Otero would have definitely made the Yankees bullpen better than it was in 2013. If only they didn't try to move him off the 40-man roster.

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