2:06 p.m.: The Yankees announced Abreu’s claim, adding that righty David McKay has been nominated for an assignment to open up a spot on the roster.
1:45 p.m.: The Yankees brought back right-handed Albert Abreu back to the organization, claiming him waivers from the Royals on Tuesday, FanSided’s Robert Murray reports (by Twitter). They will need to make a corresponding 40-man move to accommodate Abreu, who was slated for assignment by Kansas City last week.
It’s been just over two months since the Yankees traded Abreu to the Rangers as part of the deal that brought the receiver Jose Trevino in the Bronx. The trade paid huge dividends for the Yanks, as Trevino surprised with a .278/.336/.454 batting line in his first 119 plate appearances. He also provided excellent defense, as he was previously known, and generally filled a major void for a Yankees team that otherwise did little to address their catch-up situation over the course of the season. winter. New York picked up light shots Ben Rortvedt in the trade that sent Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela at Minnesota, but he’s been out all season with an injury.
Abreu’s time with Rangers, meanwhile, proved to be brief. Although he posted a 3.12 ERA in his 8 2/3 innings with Texas, he also walked 12 and hit a batter. The Rangers were understandably not thrilled by this alarming lack of command and ended up singling out Abreu for a posting and trading him to the Royals. He pitched just 4 1/3 innings for Kansas City and was left with four more walks and a batted out before being designated for an assignment.
Abreu, 26, has long had positive scouting scores for a plus fastball and a pair of above-average secondary deals (change, slider). Command has always been his Achilles heel, as evidenced by his consistently high march rates among miners. He’s out of minor league options, so the Yankees will put him back in the big league relief corps for now in hopes of working with him again to exploit his strike zone command.
As for McKay, 27, he pitched just two games for the Yankees, pitching two scoreless innings in the process. Like Abreu, however, he’s been far too prone to issuing walks at the MLB level; in 28 2/3 innings between the Mariners, Tigers, and Yankees, McKay walked 20 of the 127 batters he faced (15.7%). McKay has sniffed out 34.4% of his career opponents in Triple-A, which surely puzzles some clubs, but his command issues have kept him from finding lasting success in MLB. The Yankees will have a week to trade him, release him or attempt to get him through outright waivers.