NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 17: Adam Ottavino #0 of the New York Yankees delivers the pitch against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game four of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 17, 2019 in New York City.
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The New York Yankees cleared a 40-man roster spot and $9 million in salary by trading Adam Ottavino to the Boston Red Sox.

Josh Benjamin

The New York Yankees continued to make moves Monday morning when they traded righty reliever Adam Ottavino and a prospect to the rival Boston Red Sox.

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic was first with the breaking news.

The trade clears another spot on the 40-man roster so the Yankees’ deals with DJ LeMahieu and Corey Kluber can be made official. Meanwhile, Boston will pick up all of Ottavino’s remaining salary, about $11 million. The Red Sox will also acquire prospect Frank German in the trade.

Ottavino, 35, signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the Yankees prior to the 2019 season. He posted a 2.76 ERA in his two seasons and continued to have one of baseball’s best sliders despite struggles with walks. In the abbreviated 2020 campaign, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 24 games.

Now, New York has more financial flexibility ahead of spring training in just a few weeks.

JB’s Take

It’s a sad end for Ottavino, a Brooklyn native who grew up rooting for the Yankees. Before he even signed with the Yankees, I wrote how his being a New Yorker made him a perfect fit.

Unfortunately, the Yankees and their fans expect results. Though Ottavino posted a 1.90 ERA in 2019, he lost control of his signature slider and posted a 9.00 postseason ERA in pinstripes. Combine that, plus last year’s struggles with the team’s financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, and trading Ottavino was almost inevitable.

Now, the New York Yankees are about $10 million under the $210 million luxury tax threshold for 2021. Jack Curry of YES Network has already mentioned a possible reunion with outfielder Brett Gardner. The Yankees could also look to add another affordable arm for either the rotation or bullpen.

One way or another, the Yankees got financial flexibility and the Red Sox got a much-needed veteran bullpen arm.

Now, let’s see how New York uses its freshly-trimmed finances.