MLB News

Yankees Sign Phil Bickford To Minors Contract

Mets Designate Phil Bickford For Assignment

The Yankees signed right-hander Phil Bickford to a minor league deal, as announced by the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.  Jon Heyman of the New York Post (X link) reports that Bickford will earn $1.1MM if he makes New York’s active roster.

Bickford is moving from one Big Apple borough to another, as the Mets just released the right-hander last week.  Bickford won an arbitration case (for a $900K salary in 2024) with the Mets in February, but as per the terms of the CBA, going to a hearing meant that the salary wasn’t fully guaranteed until Opening Day.  As a result, the Mets only owed Bickford around $217K, representing 45 days’ worth of termination pay.  The $1.1MM salary linked to his minors deal could be prorated based on the amount of time (if any) Bickford actually spends on the Yankees’ roster, yet between the Yankees’ money and the termination pay, Bickford might now be in line to make more than the $900K he was slated to receive if he’d just made the Mets’ active roster.

After making two MLB appearances with the Brewers, a trade to the Dodgers in 2021 seemed to inspire a breakout, as Bickford posted a 2.50 ERA, 29.5% strikeout rate, and nine percent walk rate over 50 1/3 innings out of the Los Angeles bullpen.  However, Bickford benefited from some BABIP and strand rate-related good fortune that year, and reality seemed to set in when he posted a 4.84 ERA in 128 1/3 innings with the Dodgers and Mets over the 2022-23 seasons.  L.A. dealt him to the Mets at last year’s trade deadline, and the Mets ultimately deemed Bickford expendable amongst the many other relief options they acquired this past offseason.

The Yankees are forever on the lookout for bullpen arms, and the team’s recent ability to get good results from multiple unheralded or off-the-radar relievers perhaps bodes well for Bickford’s chances at success if he makes the 26-man roster.  For now he’ll bide his time at Triple-A as depth in the event of an injury, or if the Bronx Bombers shuffle up their bullpen to move fresh arms back and forth from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at MLB Trade Rumors…