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Yankees announce O’Day signing, DFA Heller

It’s been two weeks since we first heard that the Yankees had signed Darren O’Day. Now, the move is official. To make room for O’Day on the 40-man roster, the team designated Ben Heller for assignment. He seemed like the odd man out to me, so this isn’t a big surprise.

The Yankees now have seven days to either trade Heller or place him on irrevocable waivers. I anticipate the team working out a minor trade rather than losing Heller on the waiver wire, though there’s always an outside chance that he sneaks through. After all, the oft-injured righty has pitched in just 31 big league games since 2016.

Heller was one of the four pieces to come over from Cleveland (along with Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, and JP Feyereisen) in the Andrew Miller trade. He had some promise as a late inning reliever, but simply hasn’t been able to put things together over an extended stretch due to injuries. Perhaps a change of scenery (but more so better health) will do him some good.

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2 Comments

  1. Wire Fan

    They traded for Allen and he is out of options. I think he is on the opening day roster. And given how injury prone most of their OF and Stanton is, he is likely to play a lot more than we’d care to see. Unless of course Tauchman show he was not a one year wonder.

    Even though they didn’t give up much for him, they saw enough to actually trade for him.

    The depth is the real casualty of the need to get under the LT. There is little depth at C, MI and OF and even the pen. And given how many injuries they have had recently, it might be a real issue

  2. Mungo

    Does the choice of who was DFA’d provide any insight into their plans with Gardner? Hard to say, although I did speculate that if they cut Heller instead of Allen, then it may indicate they’ve opted to move on from Gardner. Add in the other story that the two sides haven’t talked, and it’s noThere is no doubt they like Heller’s arm and his potential, so of all years this doesn’t seem like the one where they’d willing cut him when there are other options. Don’t want to cut Allen? Then would anyone miss Ford? I’m pretty sure they could pick up several Mike Ford-type or better players, including one who has minor league options. The Yankees have been incredibly adept at identifying 1B types with upside. It’s not just Voit, as they also brought Cooper to MLB, and had Choi before that. Fandom questioned those pickups, including Voit, and all three have shown themselves worthy at various levels. So why hold Ford instead of an arm?

    Back to Allen. Maybe they believe they can tap into his talent, but he is absolutely a weaker option than Gardner. Does keeping Allen instead of Heller indicate they need Allen because they’ve moved on from Gardner? Sad to think they may have let Tanaka and Gardner both leave with out clear replacements. I don’t view Kluber or Taiilon as replacements because neither can be considered inning-eaters until they can establish health. Tanaka promised both quality and quantity.

    That all said, my guess is Gardner still shows up in Spring Training camp in the next week because he is the most logical choice for the team’s needs. Perhaps they’re simply waiting and will announce Severino to the 60-day IL and the Gardner signing, and here’s Gardner is camp all on the same day.

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