Jake Barrett, New York Yankees
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Relief pitcher Jake Barrett will head to triple-A Scranton after the New York Yankees claimed him off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Aaron Case

Maybe the Dellin Betances injury and Aroldis Chapman velocity downturn are worse than the New York Yankees are letting on. The team may have indicated as much by snatching up reliever Jake Barrett from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

The Bombers’ latest waiver claim is a 27-year-old righty whose resume includes 93.1 innings of MLB relief work. All those frames came with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2016 to 2018.

Barrett is a two-time third-round draft pick. The Toronto Blue Jays selected him out of high school in the 2009 draft, and the D-Backs took him from Arizona State University in 2012.

He holds a serviceable 4.05 career ERA and four saves in the majors. He’s saved 90 games in seven minor-league seasons, working with a 3.34 ERA.

The California-born pitcher also posted a 9.4 SO/9 rate and a 1.3 WHIP in 266.2 farm-system innings. He’ll add to those numbers with the triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders.

Per the Yankees’ tweet, the team moved reliever Ben Heller to the 60-day injured list to make room. Heller is working his way back from elbow surgery.

Like Barrett, Heller is a 27-year-old right-hander. He last pitched for the Yankees in 2017, giving up only one earned run in 11 innings of work.

Most New York fans would prefer that Barrett remains at Scranton while Betances and Chapman return to full strength. However, the move to pick up a reliever the Pirates didn’t want could be cause for concern.

With injuries stacking up like bands in a hip-hop song, the Yanks sure aren’t taking any chances.

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Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.