The Yankees acquired Josh Outman Thursday from the Indians. Outman will be used as a lefty specialist.
By Brendan Kuty
TORONTO — If Josh Outman hadn’t figured out the simple reason why the Yankees had traded for him Thursday night, it became clear in his first, brief, conversation with Joe Girardi.
“Just got to say hello to Joe real quick and he said he’s going to use me against lefties,” Outman said.
Outman, whom the Indians gave the Yankees in exchange for cash or a player to be named later, has owned southpaw hitters his whole career. Lefties have a .188 batting average off of him compared to righties, who boast a robust .302 average off the 29-year-old.
Outman thought his season might have been mostly over Thursday morning. The Indians had designated him for assignment June 18, and he had been in Triple-A ever since. Outman’s only hope was a September call up, he said.
“I mean I’m excited,” Outman said. “It got to where I got pushed to the bottom with Cleveland and that’s how it goes in this game sometimes. I have a fresh opportunity here. Hopefully I can grab a hold of it and run with it.”
Cleveland had told Outman it would try to trade him after he was designated for assignment, but Outman didn’t think it would actually happen.
“It was an exciting twist of the plot, though, so I’m happy to be over here and wear the pinstripes,” he said.
Girardi said he was excited to see what Outman could offer the Yankees, who cut ties with lefty reliever Rich Hill to make room for him.
“He’s a left-handed specialist who’s had success,” Girardi said. “You look at his numbers against lefties in Cleveland this year. It wasn’t too bad. He’ll get an opportunity to help us.”