The New York Yankees’ bid for World Series number 28 continues, as General Manager Brian Cashman has added help for his bullpen. New York traded RHP prospect Hayden Wesneski to the Chicago Cubs for relief pitcher Scott Effross, a side-armer in the midst of a breakout season.
With Michael King out for the season with a fractured elbow, the Yankees badly needed a relief pitcher, and they still could be in the market for one after this trade. Effross is a perfect replacement for King. With five years of team control remaining, he could also be paired with him next season and beyond. The Ohio native debuted at 27 last season and has become a huge part of the Chicago bullpen this year. Despite not throwing hard, Effross has a strong sinker and slider combination with a wipeout changeup. He has balanced all three true outcomes well this season, along with hard hit balls and barrels. Effross’ 2.21 xERA is 11th in all of baseball.
The 28-year-old has a 2.66 ERA with 50 strikeouts, 11 walks, a 2.19 ERA and a 1.068 WHIP in 44 innings pitched this season.
The Cubs’ teardown continues. Effross has team control, but he is not young, so trading him when his value is high makes sense. For Cubs fans, I had the pleasure of interviewing Wesneski this past offseason. You can read that here. Drafted in the 6th round of the 2019 draft, he is nearly MLB ready, having produced at AAA all season. He has made 19 starts and has a HR/9 under 1.0 with quality control. At 24-years-old, he could be a starting option for next season and even down the stretch. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the 7th best prospect in the Yankees system, but he had been passed up by Ken Waldichuk, another AAA starter, making him expendable for New York.
Wesneski has a 3.51 ERA with 83 strikeouts and a 1.149 WHIP in 89.2 innings for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season. In his minor league career he has a 3.52 ERA with 264 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.156 in 248.1 innings pitched.