Thursday, January 24, 2019

Yankees Sign Ottavino, A Brooklyn Native, To Three-Year Deal

Adam Ottavino with Colorado last season.

The Yankees announced on Thursday the signing of one of the best relievers in baseball, right-handed pitcher Adam Ottavino, a Brooklyn native, to a three-year contract through the 2021 season.

Ottavino became a premier set-up man out of the Rockies' bullpen last season, and joins a Yankees' group of relievers that includes closer Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Zach Britton, Chad Green, and Jonathan Holder.

A native of Park Slope, Brooklyn, Ottavino grew up playing in the 78th Precinct Youth Council Little League before earning all-state honors at the Berkeley Carroll School, and then playing collegiately at Northeastern University. His signing gives the Yankees three relievers born in New York State, as he joins New York City’s Betances and Latham-born Tommy Kahnle. 

Only once in the last 53 years, since 1966, have three New York-born pitchers appeared for the Yankees in the same season, when in 1993, John Habyan (36 games), Paul Gibson (20 games) and Neal Heaton (18 games) all pitched for the club.

Ottavino will wear No. 0 for the Yankees, becoming the first player in franchise history to sport the uniform number.

Ottavino, 33, went 6-4 with six saves and a 2.43 ERA (77.2IP, 41H, 25R/21ER, 36BB, 112K, 5HR) in 75 relief appearances for the Colorado Rockies in 2018. His 112 strikeouts out of the bullpen ranked second in the NL and fourth in the Majors, and set a new Rockies single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever. Among NL relievers, he was fifth with a .158 opponents’ batting average (41-for-260), fifth with a 36.2% strikeout rate (112K/309BF), tied for fifth in appearances and tied for sixth in innings pitched.

In 366 games, including three starts, across parts of eight Major League seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2010) and the Rockies (2012-18), the New York City-born right-hander is 17-20 with 17 saves and a 3.68 ERA (413.0IP, 169ER). Prior to making his Major League debut, he pitched for Team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He made his postseason debut in 2018, allowing 2ER in 3.2IP over three appearances with Colorado.

Ottavino was originally selected by the Cardinals in the first round (30th overall) of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

The Yankees’ 40-man roster is now at 40 players.

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