Ryan Weber Elects Free Agency

The Yankees announced Monday that right-hander Ryan Weber rejected an outright assignment to Triple-A in favor of free agency. That indicates that Weber, who was designated for assignment last week, first went unclaimed on outright waivers. Because he’s been outrighted before in his career, Weber had the right to reject the assignment.

New York was the sixth stop for the well-traveled Weber, a 31-year-old journeyman who’s seen at least brief Major League time in every season dating back to 2015. Though he’s never appeared in more than 18 games or topped 43 innings in a single Major League season, Weber has slowly racked up 170 2/3 innings at the game’s top level. He made just one appearance for the Yankees after being selected to their Major League roster, during which he held the Rays to one run on two hits with no walks and a strikeout in 3 2/3 frames. A solo homer to catcher Francisco Mejia make it be his lone blemish that day.

That solid outing aside, Weber owns a career 5.22 ERA in the big leagues, generally relying on a big 53.2% grounder rate and a strong 5.4% walk rate to help offset his lack of velocity (89.1 mph average sinker) and lack of missed bats (14.8% strikeout rate, 5.9% swinging-strike rate). Weber has had some decent stretches in the big leagues and has been far more effective as a reliever (4.49 ERA in 100 1/3 innings) than as a starter (6.27 ERA in 70 1/3 frames).

Despite never finding much consistent success in the Majors, Weber has had plenty of just that down in Triple-A. The former 22nd-rounder (Braves, 2009) has appeared in parts of seven Triple-A campaigns with a 3.14 ERA, an 18% strikeout rate and a tiny 4.4% walk rate in 485 innings. That includes a sharp showing with the same Scranton affiliate to which he just refused an outright assignment; in 21 1/3 innings with the RailRiders this year, Weber posted a 2.95 ERA with a 15-to-1 K / BB ratio and a 47.1% ground-ball rate.

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