The Yankees traded Nestor Cortes to the Seattle Mariners on Monday in exchange for international bonus pool money.
Last week, the Yankees had designated Cortes, 25 next season, for assignment in order to open up a 40-man roster spot. I thought he might end up re-signing with the team on a minor league deal since they liked him quite a bit and there could easily be injuries that open up playing time, but now we know that that will not happen.
Seattle feels like an optimal landing spot for Cortes. They can afford to give him a chance on the MLB roster and figure things out. He can build up some value. I like him a lot so I’m happy to see him go somewhere with a real avenue towards playing time, which would not have been guaranteed had he stayed in the Yankees’ system. Even though I personally don’t see him being more than a depth pitching option, I could see a world where he gets a little uptick in velocity or refines some of his breaking pitches, coupling that with his fun timing and arm slot variations to be a really useful arm at the big league level. Certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone took a big step forward at 25.Anyway, I was hoping to see Cortes back one way or another, but this is ok. The bonus pool money is very valuable, especially to teams like the Yankees. It’s almost like getting an extra draft pick or two. I wish Nasty Nestor the best, and I thank him for pairing up with Chad Green to be a solid fifth starter in the middle of the 2019 season. We’ll always have that time.