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Yankees Planning To Add Nick Burdi To Opening Day Roster

Yankees Planning To Add Nick Burdi To Opening Day Roster

Right-handers Nick Burdi and Clayton Beeter have been told that they have won the camp competition for bullpen jobs, per Joel Sherman of The New York Post, though Sherman adds that the Yankees might still change their plans if other opportunities present themselves in the next few days. MLBTR covered Beeter’s news earlier today.

Burdi, 31, signed a minor league pact with the Yanks back in December and has impressed this spring. He had made seven appearances for the Yankees with 13 strikeouts, four walks and two earned runs allowed.

The righty brings a power arsenal, having averaged in the upper 90s with his fastball in his career. But his health, or lack thereof, has been a significant obstacle for him. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017, thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in 2019 and a second Tommy John in November of 2020.

Around all of those surgeries, Burdi has managed to throw 15 1/3 innings in the majors but has accrued almost four years of major league service time, most of that spent on the injured list. He has a 9.39 earned run average in that tiny sample of big league work, but with an impressive 36% strikeout rate. His 13.3% walk rate suggests a lack of control but it also might just be a symptom of so much missed time preventing him from getting into a rhythm. He’s also only thrown 21 minor league innings over the past five years due to those absences.

That makes him a real wild card, as he was once a dominant pitcher in college and the early parts of his minor league career but he has hardly pitched in recent seasons due to those significant surgeries.

He is not yet on the Yankees’ 40-man roster and will need to be added, but as Sherman points out, the club is still giving itself some wiggle room to change course. Teams around the league are making their final roster decisions this week, which is leading to various players being released, opting out or being designated for assignment. If the Yankees find someone in that pile who appeals to them, they may pivot away from Burdi. If they do, Sherman relays that the righty has an April 15 opt-out in his deal.

If Burdi does end up on the roster, the Yankees will need to make a corresponding move. It was reported two weeks ago that Oswald Peraza will be shut down for six to eight weeks due to a shoulder strain, so he could be moved to the 60-day injured list to open up a spot. Gerrit Cole is looking at several weeks of rest and recovery as he looks to get over his elbow issue, though…

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