The Yankees recently signed a number of players to minor league contracts, as reported by Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America. Among those not previously covered on MLBTR: left-handers Tanner Tully and Nick RamirezRight Ryan Weber and infielder Jamie Westbrook.
Tully had spent his entire career in the Cleveland system. A 26th round pick in 2016, he worked his way to the majors for the first time this year. Tully appeared out of Terry Francona’s bullpen three times, allowing four runs in six innings. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Columbus, where he started 24 of 28 outings. Through 122 innings, the Ohio State product posted a 4.72 ERA with a modest 18.5% strikeout percentage but an excellent 4.9% walk rate.
The 28-year-old doesn’t throw hard, averaging just under 91 MPH on his fastball during his MLB tenure. He is a high-quality strikeout pitcher who has averaged or better fielding numbers in the minors recently. He will likely open the year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and serve as rotation or long relief depth.
It’s a role Weber is also familiar with. He spent the 2022 campaign in the Yankees organization, shuttling in and out of their roster when the club needed to cover some innings. The 32-year-old made five appearances, all in relief. He allowed just one run over 10 2/3 innings with a trio of strikeouts and a walk. It marked his eighth straight year of some big league action, and he has a 5.02 ERA over 177 2/3 career frames.
Like Tully, Weber is a specialist in soft-throwing control. He consistently collects grounders on over half of the batted balls he allows, including a robust 53.5% rate in 39 2/3 frames for Scranton this past season. Weber walked just 3% of opponents with the RailRiders, albeit with a 16.5% strikeout rate.
Ramirez, 33, adds some left-handed relief depth to the mix. He appeared in the big leagues every season from 2019-21, suiting up with the Tigers and Padres. Between the two clubs, he posted a 4.55 ERA with a 20.4% strikeout rate and 9.5% walk percentage over 110 2/3 innings. Ramirez spent the entire 2022 campaign working out of the bullpen with the Mariners’ top affiliate in Tacoma. He had a good season, working to a 2.93 ERA with a 23.7% slugging percentage and 46% ground ball rate through 55 1/3 frames. It wasn’t enough to crack an excellent Seattle bullpen, but he’ll try to work his way back to the majors in the Bronx.
Westbrook has yet to play in the big leagues. The 27-year-old has played nearly a decade in the minors and spent parts of four seasons in Triple-A. He appeared to be under consideration for an MLB call when the Tigers acquired him from the Brewers in an April trade. It turned out not to be, as the former fifth-round draft pick spent the year at Triple-A Toledo. Westbrook hit .248/.349/.377 over 499 plate appearances, showing solid plate discipline without much power. He is primarily a second baseman but has experience in the corner outfield; he will add some defensive flexibility to the upper levels of the system.