The Yankees have acquired lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson from the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Jon Heyman at the Post. Heyman also added that pitcher Matt Gage is headed west in the deal.
Caleb Ferguson is being traded to Yankees
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 5, 2024
Ferguson has been with the Dodgers organization his whole career and debuted in 2018. He owns a 3.43 ERA in his five seasons and now joins fellow former Dodger Victor Gonzalez as the other lefty reliever. Both should fill the void left by fan favorite Wandy Peralta, who just signed with the Padres.
As a pitcher, Ferguson relies primarily on his four-seam fastball and cutter along with a slider. He toyed with throwing the sweeper last year, something which surely caught pitching coach Matt Blake’s attention. The only downside, like most high-leverage relievers, are the walks. Ferguson allowed 3.26 walks per nine innings (BB/9) last season.
Regardless, the Yankees’ bullpen appears set. Clay Holmes is penciled in as the closer and Jonathan Loaisiga figures to be the primary setup man. Tommy Kahnle can also work high leverage innings, with Ferguson and Gonzalez working lefty duty. Groundball machine Scott Effross is also back from Tommy John surgery, and Ron Marinaccio also has a shot after struggling last year.
It’s not an eye-popping signing like the fans hoped would happen. The Yankees could still use some pitching help despite a strong offseason. The bullpen will only be as strong as the support it gets from the starting rotation.
But let’s not forget, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has turned building bullpens from scratch into an art. Just ask righty Ian Hamilton, who had 15 MLB appearances in five years before signing on with the Yankees last season. He showed an improved sinker and had a 2.64 ERA with two saves in 39 games.
New York knows what to do with relievers. Caleb Ferguson will do just fine in pinstripes.