Scott Effross

This is the second year in a row that the Yankees have reinforced their bullpen by trading for a pitcher from the National League Central. Effross was acquired by the Yankees from the Cubs on Monday for minor league right-hander Hayden Wesneski, according to a statement.

Effross, 28, is a relative unknown, but the Cubs have gotten the most out of him when they elevated him to the Majors in 2021. He’s pitched 58 2/3 innings in the big leagues, recording a 2.91 ERA while striking out 28.8% of batters, walking 5.1% of them, and getting 46.4% of his outs on ground balls.

To date in his big league career, Effross has been significantly more efficient versus left-handed pitchers than he has been against right-handed pitchers, which no doubt drew interest from the Yankees (and to other teams).

As far as I know, no one has ever beaten Effross when it comes to right-wing opponents. Through 85 plate appearances, a batting average of 160/.250/.253 was posted. It’s not just left-handed hitters who have struggled; right-handed Effross batters have as well, slamming the ball at just an unimpressive.369 clip while hitting it at a respectable.262 clip.

The fact that Effross is only in his second full season in the Major Leagues means that his negotiating power extends for another five years beyond this season. When he becomes arbitrarily eligible in 2024, he will not be available for free agency until the offseason of 2027-28.

Scott Effross

Since their bullpen has started to falter, the Yankees needed Effross’s arrival to shore things up. After losing Michael King to an elbow fracture, Chad Green underwent Tommy John surgery, and erstwhile closer Aroldis Chapman failed miserably in his comeback from the injured list, the Yankees have had a rough few weeks.

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It’s been a rough two weeks for even the team’s breakout closer and All-Star, Clay Holmes, who had a stellar start to the 2022 season. As long as Effoss maintains his strong development as a potential late-inning arm, he will help establish the group in 2022 and beyond.

The 24-year-old Wesneski was selected by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 2019 draft and has since emerged as one of the team’s top pitching prospects, now ranked fourth by Baseball America among Yankee farmhands.

With his 6’3″ 210-pound frame, the righty was promoted to Triple-A at the end of the 2021 season. Through 19 starts and 89 2/3 innings, he has a 3.51 ERA while striking out 22.4%, walking 7.5%, and grounding 41.6% of the balls he has faced.

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When it comes to his heater speeds, Scouting reports say that he can reach speeds of up to 99 mph in the four-seam, which is the fastest of the two- and four-seam varieties. In addition to sliders, changeups, and cutters, he also has experience with them.

They say he has the potential to be an excellent fourth starter, and that he’s not too far away from the majors. When the Cubs were run by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, they failed to develop upper-level arms with a reasonable chance of becoming big league starters. When it comes to the Cubs’ best prospects, Wesneski ranked as the No. 8 prospect, behind fellow pitchers Caleb Kilian and Jordan Wicks.

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