Last season, the Yankees wound up digging through leftovers to find the final pieces of their rotation and bullpen. Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon get most of the credit, but a minor league deal with Luis Ayala also paid off last season.
Granted, he was usually the last man in the bullpen, but after grabbing the last spot on the roster out of spring training, Ayala pitched well enough to stick around all season. He even occasionally stepped into some key late-inning situations. Put it this way: The Yankees got much more out of him than they could have expected.
But there’s really no spot for him this year, and Ayala is reportedly deciding between offers from the Angels and Orioles.
With last week’s moves for Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda, the Yankees seem to have more than enough pitching. True, you can never have enough, but at least on paper the Yankees have an overflowing rotation that should provide plenty of would-be starters to fill the few vacancies in the bullpen. There are also Rule 5 picks and minor league free agents like Hideki Okajima to consider.
Ayala should be able to turn last year’s success into a big league deal somewhere, but the Yankees might have gotten all the need out of him.