Peter Gammons says:
I think, politically speaking, it’s hard for the Yankees to sign Drew because Derek Jeter is still there and they signed Brendan Ryan to be a glove-first shortstop caddy for the Captain. In reality, though, Drew is better than both of them in that (a) unlike Jeter he’ll be healthy and isn’t, well, so venerable; and (b) unlike Ryan, he knows what to do with a bat in his hands. But really, it was never going to happen, even before you factor in the notion of having to give up a draft pick for him.
That “pillow contract” stuff is about a one-year deal back in Boston. Which, while obviously not what Drew is looking for, may be his best shot to have a full time gig on a winning team and make the most in 2014, even if it comes at the risk of one more year before getting a long term deal.
Remember Manny Banuelos? He was once a top pitching prospect for the Yankees and then, apparently disappeared from the face of the earth. Or at least it felt like it. Now he’s in the news, however, as the Dodgers have signed him to a minor league contract.
OK, Banuelos didn’t disappear. He was traded to the Braves in 2015, had a cup of coffee with them, pitching pretty ineffectively in seven big league games, was released by Atlanta in the middle of 2016 and then latched on with the Angels. This past season he posted a 4.93 ERA over 95 innings while being used mostly as a reliever at Triple-A Salt Lake.
Banuelos pitched in the Future’s Game in 2009 and was a star in the Arizona Fall League in 2010. He was a top-50 prospect heading into 2011 before falling to Tommy John surgery in 2012. With Atlanta he suffered some bone spur problems and then some elbow issues that never resulted in surgery but which never subsided enough for him to fulfill his potential either. He suffered injuries. A lot of pitchers do.
It’s unrealistic to think that Banuelos will fulfill the promise he had six years ago, but he’s worth a minor league deal to see if the 26-year-old can at least be a serviceable reliever.