The Yankees always sign a lot of random relievers during the offseason and it has started early this year as they have claimed both righty David Herndon and lefty Josh Spence off of waivers from the Blue Jays and Padres respectively, the team announced Tuesday.
This is not unusual for the Yankees. They like to grab a lot of fringe relievers like this and hope that one or two of them workout. At this point in the offseason it is possible that they might even waive these players to try to keep them, but get them off the 40-man roster. It might seem pointless, but the Yankees are one of the last teams on the waiver wires. Most other teams have already had their shot at these pitchers and passed them up.
Both pitchers have major league experience. Herndon has the most, 117 innings over three seasons for the Phillies. He has a 3.85 ERA with a 5.8 K/9 and a 3.2 BB/9 overall during his career. Spence has just pitched in 40 innings over two seasons for the Padres. He had a 3.15 ERA with a 9.2 K/9 and a 5.4 BB/9 in that span.
Neither was a top prospect in the minors. Spence is a little younger with a better K/9 in the majors, but Herndon always had exceptional control in the minors. Spence could end up being a decent lefty specialist though. He held lefties to a .158/.247/.237 line in his major league career.