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Yankees 2014 Roster Report Card: Matt Thornton

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You were terribly average, Mr. Thornton. Terribly average.

Stephen Dunn
Matt Thornton

Grade: C

2014 Statistics: 24.2 IP, 2.55 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 7.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 0.4 WAR (with Yankees)

2014 Contract Status: Signed through 2016 at $3.5 million, that the Nationals will take care of.

In order to properly grade Matt Thornton's short stint as a New York Yankee, you would have had to actually sit down and watch his appearances. A casual baseball fan might look at his numbers and think that Thornton had a nice stint for us, but again, after viewing his appearances, you would realize that he just wasn't that good, or bad, but pretty average.

The majority of Yankee fans were quite confused when the front office gave the then 37-year-old a two-year contract worth $7 million. Of course this was the front office's response to fill the void left by Boone Logan who had departed to Colorado on a three-year contract worth just under $17 million. A contract that is looking even worst than when it was first announced, as Boone Logan had an awful year for the Rockies that ended with elbow surgery. So, Thornton signed to become that go-to lefty specialist that Joe Girardi loves to use so often.

Thornton didn't exactly gain a lot of supporters as the season went along, as more often than not none of his appearances were clean. Thornton would either give up runs, or give up hits and walks which would in turn give us all anger issues and heart palpitations. Of the 43 base runners that Thornton inherited, 14 scored, which doesn't exactly bode well when most of the time Thornton was called upon to get an out or two. In 46 games with New York, Thornton was 0-3, pitching 24 innings and giving up 23 hits while also racking up an 83% contact rate, which isn't exactly something you want to see. Again, not awful, but easily replaceable, and at a cheaper price which is exactly what the front office realized when they sent Thornton packing.

After the trade deadline came and went, the Yankees decided to put Thornton on the waiver wire and surprisingly, the Nationals decided to pick him and the rest of his contract up so the Yankees now don't have to worry about paying Thornton to occasionally get an out or two. Thornton pitched well for the Nationals, not giving up a run in 11 innings pitched, and made an appearance in the NLDS before going home thanks to the Giants. The Yankees eventually went on to replace Thornton with guys like Rich Hill, David Huff, Chaz Roe, and other names we hope to never see again in a Yankee uniform.

Moving forward, look for the Yankees to bring up one of their own guys to be the lefty out of the pen in 2015. With a good spring training, Tyler Webb could be the guy, although Jacob Lindgren would also be a sight to see especially if he puts up the numbers he did in the minors. I am just salivating to see a Jacob Lindgren/Dellin Betances combo; don't judge. We should also not be surprised if the Yankees check in on Andrew Miller, although I don't think the Yankees want to spend big on the bullpen unless it is to give David Robertson a contract.