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Yankees Designate Nick Ramirez For Assignment

Yankees Designate Nick Ramirez For Assignment

The Yankees have designated lefty Nick Ramirez for assignment, per a team announcement. His spot on the 40-man roster will go to fellow lefty Tanner Tully, whose contract is being selected from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Manager Aaron Boone announced not long ago that Tully would be selected but didn’t divulge a corresponding move.

It’s a somewhat surprising DFA, given Ramirez’s solid performance in 2023 and strong spring showing. The 34-year-old logged 40 2/3 innings out of Boone’s bullpen last year and recorded a 2.66 ERA. His 16.3% strikeout rate was well shy of the league average, but Ramirez’s 5.2% walk rate was outstanding and his 47.4% grounder rate was sharp as well. This spring, he pitched 10 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk with nine strikeouts and a huge 62% ground-ball rate.

Ramirez didn’t make the Opening Day roster with the Yankees, however, and it seems that for the time being anyhow, they prefer to turn to Tully to add some length in the bullpen rather than the more straightforward move to recall Ramirez. In doing so, they’ll now have a week to trade Ramirez, attempt to pass him through outright waivers or release him. He’s been outrighted previously in his career, so he’d be able to reject an outright assignment even if he clears waivers.

In parts of four big league seasons between the Tigers, Padres and Yankees, Ramirez has tallied 151 1/3 innings with a 4.04 ERA and fielding-independent marks that more or less support that level of performance (4.15 FIP, 4.33 SIERA). He doesn’t throw hard, sitting 90-91 with his fastball, and his 19.3% strikeout rate is below par. But Ramirez has solid control and ground-ball tendencies, just as he showed in 2023, and has virtually no platoon split. Ramirez is in his final minor league option year and has four years of club control remaining.

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