Yankees trade for RHP Effross from Cubs

August 1st, 2022

NEW YORK -- Scott Effross’ name has been on the Yankees’ radar for several months, with analysts and scouts watching intently as the sidearming right-hander carved up National League lineups in a Cubs uniform. The Bombers wanted him, and on Monday, they landed their target.

Effross was acquired from Chicago in exchange for right-hander Hayden Wesneski, who was the Yanks’ No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. The move was a precursor to a headline-grabbing swap with the Athletics that landed right-handers Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino for four Minor Leaguers.

“I’ve heard [Effross'] name a lot. I know our guys have liked him a lot,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “And then obviously he’s had a really good season with the Cubs. We’re getting a guy that we feel like gets both handed [hitters] out and is really having one of the better seasons of any reliever in the league.”

Yankees get: RHP Scott Effross
Cubs get: RHP Hayden Wesneski

The Yankees felt that bullpen help was necessary for their postseason drive, especially after season-ending injuries to right-handers Chad Green and Michael King, plus a lingering injury to righty Miguel Castro.

Effross’ lethal sinker-slider combination can help in that regard. After a solid stint with Chicago last year, Effross was enjoying a breakout rookie year out of the Cubs' bullpen this season, posting a 2.66 ERA with 50 strikeouts over 44 innings.

His 47 appearances are tied for the second most in the Majors, and he's held opponents to a .220/.267/.299 (36-for-164) slash line this season, including a .132/.220/.245 (7-for-53) mark vs. left-handers.

Effross has stranded 24 of his 28 inherited runners this year (85.7%), the third-best mark in the NL. He has five more years of club control after 2022.

“We think it’s a great addition,” Boone said. “Obviously, that sidearm [motion] is a built-in advantage against righties and he’s got that good slider to go with it. But you see against lefties, he’s done even better to this point. He’s got that ability to drive the ball up in the strike zone. He’s got weapons.”

Boone said that he expects to use Effross “in a lot of different spots,” likely in high-leverage situations from the fifth to seventh innings.

“I think Scott has a chance to come in and really complement some of the guys we have in our bullpen,” Boone said.

Wesneski, 24, went 6-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 19 starts with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, and he becomes the No. 8 prospect in the Cubs' system, per MLB Pipeline.

Over three Minor League seasons in the Yankees’ organization, the right-handed pitcher went 18-14 with a 3.52 ERA. He was selected in the sixth round (No. 195 overall) of the 2019 Draft out of Sam Houston State University.

“I wish all my pitchers could be like Scotty,” said Cubs assistant pitching coach Daniel Moskos, who was Wesneski’s pitching coach last year with Double-A Somerset. “But the fact that we're getting Hayden in return, I am really genuinely excited, not just because I know him, but because I know the caliber of pitcher that we're getting in return. It makes it feel worth it."