The Yankees have announced that they have added RHP J.R Graham and LHP James Reeves to their list of non-roster invitees for spring training. Both pitchers were members of 2016 Yankees farm system and were probably just added to the spring training roster because a couple of other pitchers are heading to the World Baseball Classic.
The Yankees have added RHP J.R. Graham & LHP James Reeves to their list of non-roster invitees and now have 65 players scheduled to report.
— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) February 13, 2017
Neither player is thought to be a top prospect, but each could potentially add some value to the Yankees. Graham value is probably more limited as it’s hard to see him being more than an Anthony Swarzak-like piece in the Yankee bullpen, but at times those pitchers do serve a useful role; as you don’t want to kill your bullpen.
The Yankees acquired Graham in a minor trade with Minnesota Twins in May of 2016. As a Yankee spent most of his time in AA and was outrighted off of the team’s 40-man roster last September. It’s pretty telling that the Yankees opted to take him off the roster to make room for other relief prospects, but it’s not that surprising. Graham may be a former top prospect, but he has struggled in two short stints in the majors, and he wasn’t even pitching in AAA for the Yankees last season.
Reeves value is a bit more satisfying, as the Yankees seem to want another lefty reliever. Granted Reeves has barely played above A+, but he does have impressive numbers, and there’s a slim possibility he could impress people as a LOOGY. Reeves had a 2.22 ERA last season with a .914 WHIP, and that’s obviously factoring in the fact that he was used against right-handed hitters.