February 22, 2024

Dodgers trade reliever Caleb Ferguson to Yankees: Sources

The New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed on a trade that will send lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson to the Bronx, multiple league sources have told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. As part of the return, the Dodgers will receive lefty Matt Gage, who was claimed off waivers last week. According to The Athletic’s Chris Kirschner, the Dodgers will also receive Christian Zazueta, a 19-year-old pitcher who was with the Yankees’ Dominican Summer League team.

The move fills the gap for the Yankees that was left by southpaw reliever Wandy Peralta’s departure to San Diego. For the Dodgers, it opens a 40-man roster spot that could be used if the team signs Clayton Kershaw or Ryan Braiser.

Who is Caleb Ferguson?

Ferguson, who turns 28 in July, has a career 3.43 ERA in 201 games. Last season, he had a 3.43 ERA in 68 appearances for the Dodgers, striking out 10.4 batters per nine innings and walking 3.4 per nine. He leans heavily on a four-seamer that averages 96 mph and a slider that averages 86 mph.

Ferguson, who has one year of team control remaining before becoming a free agent next offseason, likely factors into the back end of the Yankees’ bullpen, hoping to team with top options Clay Holmes, Jonathan Loáisiga and Tommy Kahnle. — Brendan Kuty, Yankees beat writer

The state of the Yankees bullpen

The Yankees needed at least one more bullpen arm after losing Wandy Peralta to the San Diego Padres and Keynan Middleton to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“You never know what could still happen between now and spring training,” Boone said Saturday. “(Peralta) has been obviously so valuable for us and gotten so many big outs, especially the last two years, just really dominating left-handed hitters. We got Victor González. We’ll see what we continue to add. There’ll be opportunities for other people to step up. Hopefully guys you’re not even thinking about right now that will emerge and be key pieces for us in the ‘pen.”

Like Peralta, Ferguson is a ground ball pitcher who limits hard contact. He finished in the 97th percentile in barrel rate this past season. Additionally, Ferguson’s 2.58 ERA since 2022 is the sixth-lowest for any left-handed reliever who has pitched at least 75 innings.

Ferguson is the second left-handed reliever the Yankees have acquired from the Dodgers this offseason, with Gonzalez being the other. The Yankees traded infield prospect Trey Sweeney for Gonzalez and infielder Jorbit Vivas in December. — Chris Kirschner, Yankees beat writer

(Top photo: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images)