May 15, 2007
From "The Day" -
Waterford resident Pete Walker, who was granted his release by the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training, has signed a contract with the New York Yankees (pending a physical) and will report to the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday.
Walker, 38, an East Lyme High School graduate, is a right-handed pitcher with eight years of Major League experience, the last four with the Blue Jays. He has been home for the last month rehabilitating his arm following rotator cuff surgery last July 25 and hoping for an opportunity to extend his career.
Walker also had an offer to pitch for the Boston Red Sox, but there was a greater need with the Yankees for middle relief help due to several key injuries to their pitching staff, he said.
“Kind of scary,” Walker said with a laugh of joining the Yankees. “It’s interesting to be honest with you. It was always Fenway Park to me, but putting on the pinstripes, that’s an incredible opportunity.
“I’ve pitched there on the opposing team, but to have the chance to put on that uniform in that stadium, that gives me a lot of drive and a lot of incentive to get there.”
Walker said he expects to be in Tampa for about three weeks, gaining strength in throwing off the mound, and to make it to Triple-A Scranton by early June. His contract is incentive-based, he said, and will reward him should he make the major league roster.
So, the Yankees have signed a rehabbing 38-year old journeyman...who has been league average, thereabouts, at best, when he's pitched in the major leagues.
Back on January 7th of this year, Brian Cashman said "Our thought process for the past two years has been to stockpile as many young pitchers as we can, so you don't have to go into the free agent market and do desperate things."
Hey, Cash, reaching out for Pete Walker isn't desperate?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 15, 2007 01:04 PM
I don't think this one qualifies as desperate, Steve. Trading Phil Hughes or Ohlendorf or Clippard or Jackson for some washed up league average pitcher is being desperate. This is the "throw shit at the wall" theory. Brian Bruney was a nice example (albeit completely different considering his youth and his velocity.)
I think it's doubtful that we hear Pete Walkers name after today anyway.
Also, FWIW, Ortiz and Manny own him
It's just minor-league filler. Nothing to see here.
Size up the rings, baby!
This seems so pointless. Britton or a healthy Beam are better than this guy, right? Kevin Whelan or Ed Ramirez are better too, correct?
Size up the rings, baby!
I wouldn't read too much into it. Just an arm to keep down below, presumably like they did with Hideo Nomo or Aaron Small, or a few other pitchers that I can't think of right now. If they make the club, it's a bonus, but I don't think it's expected.
Maybe he's going to take Villone's spot at SWB once he bolts?
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 15, 2007 02:40 PM
I don't see any desperation in this signing. Whose path is Walker blocking? He isn't even on a roster.