TAMPA, Fla. – Veteran right-hander Chan Ho Park said he’s agreed to join the Yankees, in a further effort to bolster their bullpen.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman could not specifically address the issue. However, Cashman acknowledged that he’s had talks with Park’s agent for some time. He also likes what Park can offer a club, “especially out of the bullpen."
My first reaction was, really? What's the point? Park hasn't been a bad pitcher out of the bullpen, but is he really any better than whomever the Yankees had on hand? Anyway, here's his CAIRO projection as a Yankee reliever.
CAIRO is not impressed, although I still have to apply the Yankee tweak to this which will shave about two runs off his RA/ERA/FIP. This projection also includes Park's time as a (mostly) bad starter since 2006. If we just look at his relief splits over the last two seasons, he's put up 120.1 innings of 3.29 ERA, with a FIP of 3.82. So he may be a useful middle relief arm.
I figure this will be like the LaTroy Hawkins signing of 2008. He'll be a veteran arm they can use in low leverage situations, with the possibility for a more important role if he can pitch well. If he sucks, he'll get released and sign with the Astros and dominate the lesser league.
It's a meh move, but it shouldn't hurt the team, and may help.
Update: As requested, here's Chad Gaudin's strictly relief projection, using the same 85 innings that I had for Park.
The start->relief conversion seems to be overrating Gaudin a bit, but he does have a career 4.72 ERA as a starter compared to 4.00 as a reliever.